Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Longtime St. Amant volunteer sees role as good for the soul

  • Print
Chris Schiffmann / Winnipeg Free Press
Jack Froese, with friend Teddy Siwik on a bike, is St. Amant�s Volunteer of the Year.

Enlarge Image

Chris Schiffmann / Winnipeg Free Press Jack Froese, with friend Teddy Siwik on a bike, is St. Amant�s Volunteer of the Year.

ST. Amant's records show Jack Froese has volunteered more than 1,400 hours. Froese isn't one to track those numbers, though. He's just happy to help.

For the past 17 years, Froese has dedicated a few hours each week to spending time at St. Amant's residence for people with developmental disabilities.

The 78-year-old St. Andrews resident, who retired in 1994 after a 35-year career with the RCMP and CSIS, spends the majority of his time with Teddy.

Teddy is the 50-year-old son of Froese's childhood friend, Kas Siwik. Froese and Siwik got to know each other in Grade 1 and remained friends until they graduated from high school.

Froese's career took him all over Canada, but when he moved back to Manitoba, he reconnected with Kas, who introduced him to Teddy and St. Amant.

'If you're healthy and well -- and not everyone in the world is -- it's almost incumbent on you to get involved with these things'

What struck him about that first experience, and what keeps him coming back, is the compassion and care displayed by St. Amant's staff.

"You can just see the love flowing through these people when they're working with the clients there," Froese says. "It's an atmosphere that is really overwhelming sometimes."

Each Friday, Froese drives to St. Amant, where he and Teddy go for bike rides, walks, or spend time together in St. Amant's rec room.

Teddy was born with an intellectual disability, and although he cannot speak, Froese says they are able to have good conversations.

"With his gestures and his smiles, he's communicating that way," Froese says.

Kas passed away in 2009, and his wife, Pat, says Froese has been a big encouragement to her, particularly in difficult times. She notes Froese also volunteers with Meals on Wheels, and describes him as conscientious in everything he does.

"I can't put into words how grateful I am," she says. "I know that when Teddy sees him, there's a smile on his face (and) he gives him a big hug. There's a connection there."

Recently, St. Amant presented Froese with its Volunteer of the Year award. He says the award means a lot to him, considering how many great volunteers St. Amant has. Froese recommends volunteering and says it's good for the soul.

"If you're healthy and well -- and not everyone in the world is -- it's almost incumbent on you to get involved with these things," he says. "You learn a lot and become a better person."

When he isn't volunteering, Froese is busy keeping in touch with his four children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys photography and working out.

"Since I'm retired, I'm busier now than I ever was with different things. I think it keeps you young."

Volunteering is part of that. Froese says he gets more out of his visits to St. Amant than he gives. "I consider Teddy a real good friend," he says. "He's fun to be with. It's uplifting."

St. Amant is looking for volunteers. Anyone interested can call 204-258-7048 for more information.

 

If you know a special volunteer, please contact aaron.epp@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 28, 2014 B2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google