Every year in May, the children and staff at Clifton Elementary School collaborate to honour their volunteers.
This year, one of the volunteers at Clifton received a special recognition for her many years of Helping Hands at the school.
I met Lorraine Ormonde for the first time at the library, where refreshments were served after the celebration in the gym. I struck up a conversation with her about her volunteer work. She has been volunteering at Clifton School for 31 years.
Ormonde began volunteering when her first-born began her schooling and continued on when her second- and third-born went to Clifton. When her daughters moved on to other schools, Lorraine kept volunteering.
As she lives right across from the school, it is a handy place for her to go.
As Lorraine was called up to receive her reward, the children cheered so loudly the noise almost brought the roof down on our heads.
They wanted to be sure that she and everyone else knew how much they appreciated her.
The entertainment by the children was fabulous. First the beginner handbell choir played Echo Canyon, followed by the advanced handbell choir playing Bawana Anabanki.
It was a pleasure to listen to both.
Thank You, Thank You was sung with a zest to the delight of all present. Last on the agenda was the song Volunteers, performed by Grade 3 children. Each child had a line to sing that corresponded to each letter in VOLUNTEERS, charming the audience.
When I asked Ormonde why she continued to volunteer at Clifton all these years, she said, "I love the school, I love the children, I love coming here. The staff is always very good. The children always give me hugs and tell me how much they miss me when I have been away."
She is a vibrant lady who loves to give to others.
Over the years, Ormonde has worked in many areas of the school. Every year, she does the hearing screening program for the kindergarten. She supervises the lunch program every school day of the week. She has gone on many field trips over the years and helped children with their reading.
Volunteering with children is very rewarding as the children are not afraid to show affection and tell you if they appreciate what you do.
Arny Hjaltadottir is a community correspondent for the West End.