Beverleigh Wiggins - February 2022
Started August 2017
Five years ago after losing her husband to cancer, Bev was looking to find a place where she could spend time giving back as she felt that would be very important to her life going forward.
Bev was introduced to WindReach by a neighbour who volunteers in the therapeutic riding program. Knowing how she loved all things crafty, the neighbour told Bev she knew of a special place that would be very good for Bev, and she was correct! Bev took a little tour of the Farm and was introduced to the ‘wool group,’ and everything started from there.
Bev initially started to volunteer with the wool group as part of the Heritage Wool Program. “The ladies were so welcoming and shared so much with me that helped me understand how the wool I knit with came to be.....from shearing to washing, teasing, carding, dyeing, spinning, needle felting, wet felting,” said Bev. Each member of the group was keen to share their knowledge and as a newbie, Bev learned so much. Today Bev has her own spinning wheel and carding machine and has taken up needle and wet felting to the degree that she has taught others at the Oshawa Seniors Centre. Participating in the drive through events with the wool group this year gave Bev the opportunity to share her enthusiasm of all things wool with the visitors who come to WindReach as well.
Soon after walking around the farm and visiting the animals, Bev participated in the Beyond the Farm Gate program, taking small animals to schools and retirement communities. The guinea pigs are Bev’s favourite but she loves the rabbits and chickens as well. She has some physical issues that made it difficult to fully help in the program, but the time she spends there is wonderful!
Lastly Bev volunteers with the bingo group that supports WindReach Farm programs at the Red Barn. Here Bev’s job is to handle the incoming and outgoing cash and keep it all organized. While no animals are directly involved in this program, she feels it is good to participate in the activities that brings much needed revenue to the Farm.
Bev feels she is a positive person who likes to help others and share the knowledge she has gained in as many ways as she can. “In sharing my needle felting course at the Seniors Centre, I was sure to use WindReach wool, bringing revenue to the Farm and making sure the participants knew where the materials came from and what we do at WindReach,” says Bev.
When asked what she enjoys the most, Bev replies “People, people, people! Living on my own it is so special to have time to talk to kindred spirits about shared interests and see what everyone is up to. It is truly an inclusive community of volunteers. Helping WindReach participants with any activities related to the wool program is very rewarding,” exclaims Bev.
Besides learning so much about the world of wool, she has gained confidence to share this knowledge with her community at large.
One particular memorable visit was when helping to bring the small animals to a retirement home, we were greeted by so many folks who had previously had their own farms. They were very eager to interact with our critters. Each one of them loved the chickens and in particular a dear lady sat in a comfy chair cradling one of our chickens. Time passed and Bev came back to share the chicken with another resident. As she came up to the resident, she noticed that not only was the chicken asleep in her lap, but she was sleeping as well with a lovely smile on her face. Needless to say, Bev found another chicken to share and left the two of them in a blissful nap.
Bev enjoys donating her time as she thinks it gives her so much. She gets more joy and peace than she ever imagined! It is really a wonderful reason for being.
Thank you, Bev, for all that you do at WindReach Farm.
One person CAN make a difference!