Governor General of Canada David Johnston presents Sally Anderson of Port Alberni with a Governor General’s Caring Award for her volunteerism with the Read and Feed program in Port Alberni.

Port Alberni’s Sally Anderson honoured with Caring Canadian Award

Anderson has won the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for her dedicated involvement with the Breakfast Club of Canada.

Port Alberni’s Sally Anderson has won the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for her dedicated involvement with the Breakfast Club of Canada.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston presented her with the award last week in Vancouver.

The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, created in 1995, recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad.

Anderson is a seasoned volunteer in Port Alberni and has been involved with many notable charities, churches and community events since she moved to the valley in 1974 from California. She is the organizer and director of the Alberni Valley NeighbourLink Society that runs the Read and Feed program, a breakfast service run by close to 150 volunteers at four elementary schools in the Valley, providing students with a nutritious breakfast and literary aid.

Anderson was watching her grandson play hockey a few weeks ago at the Multiplex when she first heard she was a recipient for the award.

“I got an e-mail, I looked at it, and thought it was spam so I closed it back up,” Anderson said. “I had no clue I was nominated.”

After some additional research and a phone call from the Governor General’s secretary, Anderson was assured the award was in fact legitimate.

Initially, Anderson was skeptical to travel to Vancouver, where the ceremony was held at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, because of the long distance she’d have to trek from the Island. She said Robin Ryan, provincial coordinator of the Breakfast Club of Canada, who nominated Anderson, convinced her to go to the ceremony to spread the word and advertise about the breakfast club.

“I was in awe at the many other volunteers that went across the stage, who put in many years caring for their communities,” Anderson said.

Helping people is in Anderson’s family tree. Her mom and dad actively volunteered in Ontario, where she grew up, and taught her and her siblings to help others and “pay it forward.”

“Wherever you are put in this life that’s your corner. You’ve got to shine and do the best you can with what you have and say thank you,” Anderson said.

(Story continues below)

 

 

 

Anderson and a group of board members at her church formed the NeighbourLink Society 11 years ago because they wanted to get together to do something in Port Alberni as a group. Today the Read and Feed program serves more than 300 students daily, ensuring they get a healthy breakfast to start their day.

She says she is not the only one deserving of this award.

“There are not enough pieces of this certificate to cut apart and share with the hundreds of volunteers and supporters of the Read and Feed program, who stand by me in this endeavour to care for Port Alberni’s elementary school children,” she said.

Anderson is always looking for more volunteers to help with various programs and services in the community and said that having some “young blood” around to help would be beneficial as many of the volunteers are seniors.

Aside from her volunteerism, Anderson is widely recognized as the Valley’s “flag lady,” a role she said many look forward to. From June to September each year, Anderson shuffles her schedule to assure she’s ready to wave her various flags, dressed in colourful costumes, for McLean Mill steam train passengers, when the locomotive travels past her house.

Anderson recognizes the many other volunteers that work together with the NeighbourLink Society and wants to share her award with them all.

“I get blessed more than anybody else could even imagine,” she said.

 

karly.blats@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

Just Posted

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

ARTS AROUND: Enjoy magic and comedy at the Capitol Theatre

Transport yourself back in time for the McLean Mill Christmas Market

Port Alberni to receive $8.7 million in affordable housing

Two projects in the Alberni Valley will provide 87 units of housing

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Most Read