Ann Thompson exemplifies the spirit of volunteering in Ottawa. She has volunteered thousands of hours consistently for over 30 years, dedicating herself to improving the lives of marginalized and isolated people from a large variety of countries and backgrounds. She has been involved with in-home ESL support for over 1,800 newcomers from over 80 countries.
Her very first experience as a volunteer goes back to her high school days during which she volunteered at a program for disabled children in London Ontario, which is where she was born and raised. This experience prompted her to train as an Occupational Therapist. She did ESL tutoring as a volunteer and discovered that this was her true calling. After receiving her certificate in Teaching English as Second Language, she joined ELTOC (English Language Tutoring for the Ottawa Community) which has been central to her long volunteer “career’’ helping newcomers.
Her volunteer work at ELTOC has ranged from ESL tutoring to serving as board president. Ann also volunteers for the Dalhousie Food Cupboard and the Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton and is part of a refugee sponsorship group in her community. She feels very fortunate to have been able to devote so much of her adult life to volunteering. She finds it extremely gratifying to be involved with organizations and people that do such good work.