A Sisterhood of Kindness

By Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation


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Vi Irwin was one of those special people who looked for ways to help others.  Although of modest means, she made sure to incorporate the needs of others into her daily priorities.  I think she would credit her sister, Ada, for this ardor to help others. You see, from the time Vi was born, her life was riddled with challenges and health problems.  Ada always looked after her little sister - protected her, encouraged her and made sure her needs were met first.  It was Ada’s never-ending kindness that nurtured and shaped Vi’s passion for giving to others.

After her husband Jim passed away, Vi decided to join a sculpting class where she met her new best friend Kathy Reynolds.  Amazingly, it turned out that Ada and Kathy had a lot in common as both loved opera, books, dogs and classical music.  Although Kathy and Ada never met, they wrote many letters to each other.  Vi often said that Kathy and Ada were so much alike they seemed like sisters.

When Kathy’s health failed, she moved into the Glengarry long-term care facility.  During a visit with Kathy, Vi saw a Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation poster expressing the need for therapeutic mattresses and it struck a chord in her heart.  She wanted to help, but the mattresses were well beyond her means.

Quite unexpectedly,Vi was notified that Ada had bequeathed a modest amount of money to her.  As Vi explained, this was saved “one-half cent at a time” by her sister so she wanted to spend it where it would really make a difference.  As a tribute to both Ada and Kathy, Vi purchased a mattress with Ada’s bequest and donated it to Glengarry in memory of Kathy. 

Vi  also discussed a planned gift with the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation and, after her death at age 92, her bequest was directed to purchase more therapeutic mattresses ~ a legacy that will provide the comfort of a good night’s sleep made possible through the “sisterhood” of three amazing ladies. 

For more information on the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, contact us at 250-370-5664 or visit our website at www.gvef.org

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