“Instead of watching TV I could do something useful”

Steve has been a Distance Computer Comfort volunteer for the past nine months. Steve has moderate arthritis but that doesn’t stop him from being active. While searching the website, GoVolunteer.ca (new window), Steve came across the Distance Computer Comfort Program at the Neil Squire Society. He immediately got in contact with Chad, e-Learning Manager at the Neil Squire Society (new window). “The volunteer position fit me to the tee,” says Steve. “Once I met Chad and learned about the Neil Squire Society, I knew this was where I wanted to volunteer.”

Steve currently tutors one Distance Computer Comfort participant who lives in Penticton (new window), British Columbia (new window). He had a previous client who lives in Keremeos (new window), British Columbia (new window). “My last client needed basic help in word,” explains Steve. “She didn’t have any computer experience, but wanted to design a poster for a memorial softball tournament. By the third and fourth session, we started to create this poster. She was quite emotional. She was so proud and happy that this was something that she created. She sent the poster to everyone. This is something I helped her with! I started to get emotional as well. She was just so proud,” commented Steve, who began to get choked up during the interview.

Steve studied Computer Assistance at BCIT (new window) and has worked in information technology (new window) (IT) jobs ever since he graduated. “I worked at a help desk and this allowed me to work one on one with clients on any IT problems that they may have had,” says Steve.

Even with such a strong background in IT, Steve still found some technical challenges while volunteering. A few examples that Steve faced were the speed of someone’s computer, Internet connections, and unfortunately some clients have disabilities that may limit their time on the phone. “Unfortunately technical challenges won’t change. I have to be aware that I can’t do everything,” says Steve. “I will adapt to the client so they will have a good experience every week.”

“I have dealt with great clients. I feel like I am helping them. It makes me feel good that I’m responsible for helping them,” says Steve.

“Chad, Gordon, and the two clients I tutored are all awesome. I am more aware of the people out there who need assistance. I am also aware that there is a society that is helping them,” says Steve.

Like most of the Neil Squire Society’s Distance Computer Comfort Program volunteers and participants, Steve is disappointed that the program is wrapping up. Like most volunteers of the program, Steve would “definitely keep volunteering.” “I have free time at night,” says Steve. “Instead of watching TV I could do something useful. I am very happy to be part of the program.”

If you would like more information about becoming a volunteer with the Neil Squire Society please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page.