ZOOMER Magazine



donkeys whose hooves hadn’t been properly cared for.

They have given untold hours to the sanctuary, which preCOVID they used to visit twice a week to clean stalls, feed and fondle. Judy, an amateur violinist, even played Simple Gifts and Amazing Grace to the beasts, and the couple led tours for school groups and visitors. “This is our passion,” says Judy. “They are our loves.”

“Everyone can help where they have an interest and feel the need,” says Judy.


Melanie Achen, 53, found the crafty camaraderi­e of the West Coast Knitters Guild helped fill the void the B.C. former public health nurse felt being so far away from her knitting-savvy Saskatchew­an relatives, who taught her the craft. Knitting lends itself very well to community engagement, says Achen, who is currently working on a Bernie Sandersins­pired sweater for herself.

Nova House is a 10bed women’s shelter run by Chimo Community Services that has been serving the Richmond, B.C., area for 45 years. The programs include transition housing from its shelter, a crisis line staffed by 200 volunteers, legal and counsellin­g services for children and elderly, and anti-bullying initiative­s. Donations account for 25 per cent of Chimo’s $2.3 million annual budget.

The Guild raises $2,000 a year for Nova House, partly through an annual craft sale. Achen forgoes “precious” sweaters that require expensive yarn and a lot of skill and makes small, inexpensiv­e things – like 15 little gnomes she sold for $20 each in less than two hours last year. There was $300 raised, just like that. While there was no Christmas craft sale last year due to COVID-19, the guild raised money through yarn sales and member donations. Achen also supports Doctors Without Borders, the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

“I am personally drawn to supporting charities that support women in need and have volunteere­d in the past with organizati­ons that are focused on women’s health and welfare.”


Joe Sealy’s marriage was a match made in entertainm­ent heaven. The former member of the Blood, Sweat and Tears band and current pianist with the Colin Hunter band was married to hair and makeup artist Judi CooperSeal­y for 46 years. She worked on famed Canadian shows SCTV, CODCO and Kids in the Hall,

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