Lagois ROSS Ottawa

Sam is a chatty sort of fellow. Chatty, that is, when he has someone to chat with. 

Sam has lived alone near Metcalfe, Ont. since his wife, Edna, died. He doesn’t drive anymore, and the days are long in his big old farmhouse in the country.

Sam will face some surgery in the next couple of months and needs to attend several medical appointments. He would have no way of getting to them if it were not for Rosemary, his reliable volunteer driver.

Rosemary drives for Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS). Sam calls her an angel. He’s not the only one who thinks she is. Rosemary brings three other seniors to medical or hair appointments, to the grocery and drug store, to social engagements and to ROSSS social drop-in programs.

It’s more than transportation. Rosemary and her fellow ROSSS volunteer drivers, like Jeff Doll, are sunshine on grey days. They’re friends. They’re good listeners. They’re company. 

Jeff, a retired engineer and former client of Lagois Design·Build·Renovate, says his volunteer work as a driver for ROSSS gives him focus, especially after the death of his wife two and a half years ago. It helps alleviate some of his own loneliness.

He understands his clients well, because so many are widows or widowers themselves. “We understand each other,” he says.

Jeff likes meeting new people all the time. He averages about two or three drives a week. Most of the trips are into the city. Jeff picks up clients at home, takes them to their appointments, and waits for them. He always brings something to read, and he might go for a bowl of soup. “It’s productive time for me,“ he explains. “I always find something to do.”

He speaks highly of the team at ROSSS. “They’re there because it’s where their heart is. It’s good to know there’s that much care and love in the world. And you know, what you give gives back to you.”

ROSSS provides affordable, quality health and social programs for older adults, adults living with disabilities, and their caregivers in rural communities south of Ottawa. 

Lagois Design·Build·Renovate is an enthusiastic supporter, raising funds each year with its Motorcycle Ride for ROSSS. Founder Herb Lagois sits on the ROSSS board and has long been a wholehearted fan.

Because of ROSSS volunteers, many older adult members of rural communities can live independently and well at home.

ROSSS is currently in need of more volunteer drivers. They’re looking for people who:

  • Would like an opportunity to meet new people
  • Want to make a difference in the community and increase their own sense of purpose
  • Enjoy working in a team environment
  • Have good communication, listening, patience and “people skills”
  • Have knowledge of best practices for working with seniors and cognitively impaired adults
  • Are reliable and punctual
  • Have knowledge of minimal-assist techniques to help clients with mobility challenges
  • Are able to maintain confidentiality.

Training is provided. 

If you own your own vehicle and would like more information, please get in touch with Della Hart,; or at 613-692-4697, ext. 228.