Susan delivers the paper to 35 homes on Centennial Rd., just up the street from where she has lived and raised her family for 35 years with her husband Andrew.
“This is the most pleasurable volunteer work I have ever done,” she explains. “I like walking and it’s a good way to meet neighbours you might not normally meet. It’s also nice to do something helpful for the community.”
Susan started delivering 22 years ago in memory of a dear friend, Paul Marsh, who was very involved with the CCRA for many years before his death in 1995. Coincidentally, at that time the CCRA was looking for delivery volunteers.
“I knew how much Paul believed in the paper,” explains Susan, “and I agree – I think it’s a great paper and worth delivering. In fact, I was just reading it last night and I said to my husband, ‘Look at this article about Heather Lemieux’s trip to Iceland. It’s fantastic’.”
Susan says people on her route often thank her for delivering and acknowledge that she has been doing it for a long time. While she can’t remember anything particularly eventful happening on her route, she remembers giving someone support at a time of need. “There was one lady who obviously needed to talk – I can’t remember what the circumstances were now – so I sat with her on her doorstep and we chatted for an hour.”
Wanda Wierzbicki, CCRA distribution manager, describes Susan as “awesome.” “She is one of those people you can always depend on and is willing to fill in when there is a need,“ explains Wanda. “Last year one of our longtime main distributors (who drop bundles off to the delivery people) resigned due to health issues. Susan volunteered for the position immediately even though she is already delivering on her street.”
Susan says she loves the Centennial area because it has the waterfront, great parks, community centres and easy access to the 401 and the GO train. She says she has always felt safe doing her deliveries. She encourages others to consider delivering as well.
“It’s once a month, it only takes you half an hour and you don’t have to do it in the summer during cottage season,” she says. “You can take your children or your dog with you if like. I have taken my grandchildren with me and they loved dropping the newspapers in people’s boxes.”
In conclusion she says, “You aren’t asking people for anything, you are giving them something.”