PEI

Want to give back more in 2022? Have an open spirit, says P.E.I. Lt.-Gov.

For P.E.I.’s lieutenant-governor, the key to becoming engaged in your community is being open to the signs that come your way. 

Antoinette Perry says small acts can make a big difference

P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry says she continues to give back to her community because 'as we get older, we realize how much the community has given to us.' (Jane Robertson/CBC)

For P.E.I.'s lieutenant-governor, the key to becoming engaged in your community is being open to the signs that come your way. 

"If you really want to give to people, to volunteer, have your spirit open and the opportunities will come knocking," said Antoinette Perry. 

In her role as lieutenant-governor, Perry, a retired music teacher, celebrates volunteerism and giving back on P.E.I.

Learned to 'serve the community'

One of nine children, Perry learned how important it is to give back while working at her parents' store in Tignish, Eugene's General Store, named after her father. 

"We had to learn to deal with the community, to connect with the community, to serve the community and learn how to do that in a responsible way," she said. 

Perry has continued to volunteer since becoming lieutenant-governor, driving home to Tignish to play the organ at St. Simon and St. Jude Catholic church. 

"It replenishes that need for expressing myself in an artistic way, but also, spiritually, because liturgical music is very important to me," said Perry. 

"To this day, the community still feeds me. Every time I go to Tignish, I just feel sort of replenished to come back and to continue." 

'Give that little bit of yourself'

Perry insists that if you give back to others, the benefits will return to you. 

"I'm telling you, the rewards are immeasurable when you can see the smile or the light in the eyes," she said. 

"If you can give that to a neighbour, to someone who is sad, someone who's going through mourning … you can give that little bit of yourself."

Perry said small acts are just as important as big ones. 

"You have a neighbour and, you know, they really could use one visit a week. Could be 15 minutes, 20 … a cup of coffee a week," she said. 

For Islanders who want to volunteer or give back more in 2022, Perry has this advice: 

"Keep connecting with the community, and there will always be signs if you're open to it."

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