Edwina Jeffrey is one impressive fellow.
The long-time cheerleader for adults with developmental disabilities joined UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and world leaders Jimmy Carter and Boris Yeltsin as a Paul Harris Fellow on October 1.
Edwina, who chairs CLBC’s Surrey Delta White Rock Community Council, was inducted into the Rotary Club of Surrey fellowship at the Innovative Labour Solutions Awards. She met Rotary Club president Ed Landry and past president John Edwards while organizing the awards, which recognize inclusive employers.
Honoured by the surprise announcement, she had to “admit my first question to John was, ‘Does this mean I have to go to Rotary meetings now?’”
Edwina has been advocating for families since daughter Andrea was born with Down Syndrome. Andrea, now 26, attends Surrey Association for Community Living (SACL), takes private literacy skills and math lessons and loves music therapy.
While dropping Andrea off at SACL, she was invited by Surrey Delta White Rock Community Council to participate in a pilot literacy program.
“I felt like I had a golden halo that everything had worked out, but I also wanted to find out more, from the inside, about how CLBC works so I could actually tell other people.”
After six years on council, Edwina reports, “They (CLBC staff) are people just like you or me, working really hard to ensure things happen.”
On volunteering, the Surrey mom says she is passionate about giving back, “especially if it is for a cause that I believe in,” and credits the support of her husband, son and Andrea for enabling her to stay involved.
It’s just another challenge for a woman who has made serving others a life-long pursuit.