Young at Ninety!

Tonari Gumi members and volunteers enjoying an outing at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

On Wednesday, June 20th, a group of six youthful 90 year olds had a picnic at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Langley. The group, including Hatsue Kobuke (92), Yoneko Kusumoto (92), Yoshiko Mukuyama (92), Sumie Tanaka (93), Kimi Uyeyama (90) and Tomoya Yamafuji (92), enjoyed great food and a rare day of sunshine. As you can see from the accompanying photo, these seniors are still very active and excited to be out and about. This “Homebound Adventure” program was organized by TG Board member and long-time TG volunteer, Kikko Lurana Tasaka with the assistance of Tomoko Li, who has been a great supporter of this program for many, many years! Tomoko has recruited her husband, Patrick Li, who is now a TG Board member, to help us drive with our ol’ long time driver, Neil McArthur. It’s good to have them in our team.

While many are aware of the programs and services offered by Tonari Gumi at our East Broadway drop-in centre, what may not be as well-known are Tonari Gumi’s many outreach and other activities and services provided outside of our centre and even outside of Vancouver. Kikko and her merry group of active volunteers visit and assist many seniors who live throughout the Lower Mainland. Although, like many of our seniors, the Tonari Gumi mini-van is aging, it can be seen running around Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond and the north shore carrying seniors to various Tonari Gumi sponsored activities such as walking, outreach adventures, gateball, etc.

Tonari Gumi members and volunteers enjoying an outing at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Two teams of volunteers visit the Royal Arch Masonic seniors residence in the Champlain Heights area of Vancouver each week on Tuesdays and prepare a delicious Japanese lunch for the some seven Japanese Canadian seniors living in the residence. Every week, Tonari Gumi volunteers deliver Japanese-style lunches under our Japanese Meals-on-Wheels program to seniors who live in Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond and who are unable to come to our twice weekly lunch programs at Tonari Gumi. Throughout the month, volunteers call homebound seniors under our Telephone Buddy program or visit seniors who are isolated and limited in their mobility. While our ability to assist is constrained by limited resources and the availability of volunteers, Tonari Gumi is continuing to reach out and is trying to be of help wherever there is a need. Help is always needed and if you can volunteer, we are open to having you join our team. Call (604) 687-2172 or e-mail ed@tonarigumi.ca during office hours at any time.


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