GREEN ISLAND COVE, N.L. – A lifetime of volunteering for a Green Island Cove woman has paid off with recognition from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Olga Kinden was one of five recently named recipients of the 2019 Seniors of Distinction Award.
It recognizes the “contributions, achievements and diversity of seniors throughout the province.”
Kinden, 69, was nominated for the award by her daughter, Carla Warren.
When Warren read about the award last year, she realized her mother might be exactly what they were looking for.
“I thought my mother should get an award for all the work she’s put into various things,” she told The Northern Pen. “I can’t remember, in my lifetime, a time when she wasn’t volunteering in some capacity or another.”
Kinden didn’t know she was up for the award but when she received the call, it wasn’t a total surprise. She says she knew her daughter was collecting information about her, but she didn’t know exactly why.
“I appreciate it, it’s very special,” said Kinden. “I didn’t (volunteer) to get thanks for it or to get an award, but I do certainly appreciate it.”
Kinden has volunteered in her hometown in the Straits area of the Great Northern Peninsula in numerous capacities.
“I love volunteer work,” she told The Northern Pen.
Now almost 70, she feels she should scale back some of her volunteering. But she’s still active in many roles, including co-chair of the St. Andrew’s parish council.
And when Kinden and the four other recipients are honoured at a formal ceremony in St. John’s Oct. 1, she will use the opportunity to lend a helping hand then, as well.
Currently, she’s knitting 12 quilts she intends to donate to the homeless shelter when she arrives in St. John’s for the ceremony.
Warren believes what makes her mother special is regardless of the cause, she puts in maximum effort.
“She takes it on herself and makes it an experience for everyone,” she said. “It’s a passion for her.”
Warren feels her mother has a strong sense of community and sees it, not as work, but as a responsibility to help improve the community.
“It’s her sense of community, she wants to see improvements and she’s willing to put in the work to help with those improvements,” she said.
Some of Olga Kinden's accomplishments
- Was Parish Treasurer for nine years and treasurer of the old community church before that
- A Eucharistic Assistant and reader at the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church
- Taught Sunday School for many years
- Was on the board of the personal care homes in Flower’s Cove for multiple years
- Served as chair of the Green Island Cove Come Year in 2009 and treasurer on the committee for the second Come Home Year in 2016.
- Served as a leader with the Girl Guides in the area for over 30 years.
- Founded the Pathfinders and the Rangers programs for girls in the area.
- Received Long Service Certificate in June 1989 for her work with the Girl Guides.
- Took a trip to Boston with the Girl Guides, using her vacation time to do so.
- Provincial Ranger advisor from 2002 to 2007.
- Applied for make-work projects for people in the area who needed to qualify for employment insurance.
- Helps organize card games for local women each Wednesday night.
- Helps cook for the Lions Club.
- Knitted 40 hats, 20 of which were donated to the Janeway Children’s Hospital, the others to Gathering Place in St. John’s.
- Is in the process of knitting 12 quilts to donate to the homeless shelter in St. John’s when she visits to receive her award in October.