Saanich Volunteer Services Society


Feature News

Need Help with Your Income Tax?

Starting MARCH 2, 2020 until April 29, 2020

Income Tax Clinic with Dee and Jean

  • Our trained volunteers file simple, uncomplicated returns for SAANICH residents
  • All returns are e-filed to make the process efficient 
  • Single person limit = $35,000
  • Couple limit = $45,000
    • Both spouses need to be present to file
    • If children 17 years & under living at home, bring their birthdates & legal names
  • Please bring last year’s return and notice of assessment if you have it and all other necessary tax forms
  • Call 250 595-8008 today to make an appointment
    • To be seen at our Income Tax Clinic Held at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre On Monday and Wednesday afternoons From 12:30 to 3:30pm
    There is no charge for this service.
 For more information call 250 595–8008

2019 President’s Appeal

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

Saanich Volunteer Services Society supports and promotes the wellbeing of Saanich residents through coordinated volunteer services and connections to community resources. For over 27 years, Saanich Volunteers have fostered and supported a truly unique and genuine community of neighbours helping neighbours. Saanich Volunteers provide support services to residents of our community to live independently. One of our most popular services is...

Our Drivers Change Lives …one ride at a time!

The story of Gisele and Roberto is one example from many that tells how truly vital volunteer drives are in the lives of our seniors.

It began many years ago over a traffic argument on a busy boulevard in Mexico City. Gisele was following Parisian road courtesy rules when merging into a lane of traffic. This did not work for Mexican drivers as Roberto tried to explain. They still laugh over their versions of how they met but this year Gisele and Roberto celebrated 67 years of marriage.

After an active and vibrant life...

G and R 2

2019 Annual General Meeting

Thank you to all of our volunteers and guests for attending SVSS 27th Annual General Meeting.

Meet 15 Year Volunteer Service Award Recipients

15 Yrs - Chuck Neilsen, Haji Charania, Acting Mayor Colin Plant

Haji Charania and Chuck Neilson
Haji retired in 2013 and one day while out for a walk he past McRae House and saw the Saanich Volunteer Services Society (SVSS) sign. He decided he would like to volunteer and give back to his community so he joined SVSS. For 7 years Haji was on the SVSS board serving as secretary, vice president, president and past president. Haji is fondly known as the income tax and special event volunteer. He helps at community events and is known to attend Saanich Council meetings taking every opportunity to proudly speak on behalf of SVSS.

  Chuck had a friend who was a driver for SVSS so after retiring he decided to give it a try. Chuck drove for 12 years when he had to stop following major cardiac surgery. But he didn’t give up on volunteering. He started volunteering with the SVSS Food Hamper program – bundling food hampers for our clients at St. John Divine.


Celebrating SVSS Volunteers at Our AGM on June 20, 2019

It is our cadre of remarkably dedicated volunteers that enables SVSS to keep making an impact for seniors within our municipality of Saanich.
Our volunteers this year logged over 8,300 hours of service and drove in excess of 63,000 kilometres – equal to an amazing 10 one-way trips across the country from Pacific to Atlantic. We are celebrating all of our wonderful volunteers with special attention to 12 who have reached their 5, 10 and 15 year milestones.
Come join the celebration on Thursday, June 20 from 6 to 8pm at Cedar Hill Golf Course.

Annual General Meeting

As a volunteer, you know that charitable organizations make a difference.

But do you know how big that difference is?
Join us at the AGM, where the Victoria Foundation’s Robert Janus will share the findings of a fascinating study that measured the impact of the Charitable Sector in the Capital Region

‘Civil Society Impact’
Measuring economic and social activity in the Victoria Capital Region -a partnership project between the Victoria Foundation and the UVic-

Thursday, June 20, 2019 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cedar Hill Golf Course 1400 Derby Road

Please RSVP by: Monday, June 10, 2019
Telephone 250 595-8008 Recognition and service awards will be extended to our wonderful Volunteers. Light Refreshments will be served

Current News

Festive Season Open House

It was three afternoons of good food and great company at our annual festive season open house.
Thanks to all our clients, volunteers and community partners for joining us. A special thank you to our carollers the Victorian Choir and the South Island Harmony. They truly added to the spirit of the festivities.
Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

Celebrating SVSS Volunteers! SVSS Volunteers enjoyed mingling with each other and SVSS staff at a BBQ on Friday, September 13! The food catered by Little Piggy Catering was delicious.

SVSS Volunteers provide drives, companion visits, minor home repairs, light yard work, income tax filing and much more to hundreds of residents in the Municipality of Saanich.

We cannot thank our SVSS Volunteers enough for the services they provide to brighten the lives of our clients each day.   

Saanich Volunteer Drivers

Story by Norman, SVSS Volunteer and Volunteer Advisory Council member

Larry Reed and client

For more than 25 years, SVSS has organized volunteer drivers to carry people to medical appointments, shopping trips, the bank and hairdresser, as well, as social outings around town.

“I have enjoyed doing it. I’ve met a lot of nice people.” Says Norah McQuiggan, who has a dozen years behind the wheel for SVSS. “It’s worked out really well.” She is one of 50 drivers who record a total of 63,000 kilometers a year – equal to an amazing 9 one-way trips across the country from Pacific to Atlantic. Read more of Norman’s story about the wonderful Volunteer drivers in our June edition newsletter found below under Newsletters.

Friends Stay Healthy Program

Registered dietitian Jenneke is presenting dietary workshops on healthy eating for the ladies at On The Go Again. Some of the topics for the workshops include fall prevention, brain health, happy/depression and when you are healing. At the end of each presentation Jenneke provides a healthy snack for the ladies to enjoy. We are grateful to Island Health for sponsoring these workshops.

Receptionists and Drivers Workshop

Drivers and receptionists have a long distance relationship!
They talk on the phone or communicate through email but rarely get to meet each other.

The first of two receptionists and drivers workshops brought them together. Receptionists, Ellie and Marie through role playing showed everyone what working on the front desk is like.

Drivers shared their experiences driving clients to appointments. It was a great workshop!

Next Receptionists and Drivers Workshop is Friday, March 29th at SVSS McRae House from 10am to 12 noon.

Celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year

Our OTGA group celebrated Chinese Lunar New Year. Thanks to Barbara, the OTGA ladies had a delectable feast from Sun Wah Chinese Restaurant. Barbara and Marguerite brought homemade pig designed cookies and custard tarts for dessert. Only one of the OTGA ladies was born in the year of the pig. According to the Chinese New Year website: ‘Earth Pigs are social butterflies with friends from all walks of life.’ All the OTGA ladies enjoyed the Chinese New Year celebration!

Monthly Volunteer EBlast News

What's happening for SVSS volunteers this month!

August EBlast

July EBlast


Click the image to view our previous newsletter for July 2018 - October 2018

July 2018- October 2018

Click the image to view our previous newsletter for July 2018 - October 2018

July 2018- October 2018

Click the image to view our previous newsletter for May 2018 - July 2018

May 2018- July 2018

News Reports


Saanich Volunteers Offer Free Tax Prep for Older Adults

Volunteer society connects Saanich residents with services

Saanich Volunteer Services Society – Answering the call of duty

Planning another 25 years of aging in place