It doesn’t take long in a conversation with Colleen Bone before she’ll ask, “How can I help?” The question and her compassion are main drivers in her multi-faceted contributions to the community. Colleen is a licensed officiant and conducts both weddings and funeral services, a grief and bereavement counsellor, hospice and palliative care volunteer, and an active fundraiser for the homeless and for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
“I’ve always been a people person. When we first moved here in 2004 to be closer to the grandchildren, my main goal was to take the “ooh…” out of Scarborough,” referring to the reaction from friends to her relocation.
Colleen admits to being a busy woman.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world. We feel so alive being able to give back. We are so lucky. We have a lot of great people here.”
While she is officially the office manager at Giffen-Mack Funeral Home, as a community liaison, she is also a founder of Residents Rising, working with the East Scarborough Storefront to bring people together to address neighbourhood needs.
“Residents Rising came about by coming together to find out community needs.”
With broad input, the group has sponsored everything from delegations to the TTC to improve service on the 54A bus to bingo nights for seniors. Colleen has worked with the group to provide Christmas hampers, Mother’s Day teas, Father’s day events, and a weekly lunch program for people in community housing.
“We live here and work here. Its home. I’m so glad I moved here. The people are sooo amazing. And that’s the “oh” that Scarborough really deserves.”