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Grateful local senior 'feels extremely lucky to live in Orillia'

Acts of kindness from neighbours and friends exemplifies the way 'Orillia citizens have been quietly helping each other during the pandemic'
dale lynch be kind
Orillia's Dale Lynch is thankful for the kindness of neighbours and friends who have helped ease the strain of the pandemic.

Editor's Note: This is the fourth of a series of 10 weekly articles that will appear each Thursday as part of the Be Kind campaign, an initiative spearheaded by Orillia's Emergency Management Committee.

Dale Lynch heard about OrilliaMatters teaming up with the City of Orillia to spotlight acts of kindness during the pandemic and wanted to share her own experiences.

Being the fortunate recipient of many acts of kindness has left Lynch feeling very grateful. “I feel extremely lucky to live in Orillia,” she said.

“As a senior, I have benefited from the kindness of my friends and neighbours,” she said. “I want to illustrate that Orillia citizens have been quietly helping each other during the pandemic and I want the mayor to know that I support his kindness campaign.”

Lynch and Heather Austin, a friend she’s had for more than 70 years, have been exchanging funny cards on Halloween since 1961.

“Her husband, Dave Austin, shops for me every week and delivers it to my door. She calls me on the Thursday and he goes shopping on Friday and delivers the order I have given her. They also pick me up occasionally and take me for a drive," said Lynch.

Austin said he doesn’t think of helping people as anything heroic.

“I think it’s what friends do for friends. I also do a little bit around the house for her and I do it for other people too. I have some skills so if a small job needs to be done, I can help them out with anything like that,” he said.

“Friends are important. If we can help each other out, well, that’s great. People help me out with things, too. My wife doesn’t drive, so if I need to drop my car off somewhere, I can call on somebody and they will come pick me up and take me home,” Austin said.

“The people I admire are people from around town who do all kinds of things for people they don’t know,” he said.

Austin thinks living in a community like Orillia is great “because you get to know people and make friends. I’ve always found people really eager to help out if you need a hand.”

Almost every Sunday night, Lynch has another friend who brings her dinner from Tammies or the Royal Oak. “He delivers it to my door around 4 o’clock or so and that’s really helpful too.”

A neighbour does odd jobs around her house. “He took down my table on my deck and the umbrella I had up and put it away in the garage the other day. Yesterday (his wife) brought me muffins and soup.” Other neighbours bring in her recycling box, shovel her snow, change lightbulbs or retrieve her mail for her.

Another friend phones her every Monday night and picks her up on Tuesday to go out, have lunch and go for a drive. “She’s very organized, so usually that’s every Tuesday come hell or high water. Well, maybe not high water—if it’s a bad, stormy day, maybe not,” she laughed. “You know that book Tuesday With Morrie? We call this Tuesday With Dale.”

Lynch reciprocates the kindness she’s been offered by making phone calls and sending out homemade cards. “I feel extremely grateful and highly appreciative of what they do.”

Do you know of an act of kindness or generosity that should be shared with the community? If so, please email your idea and contact information to dave@orilliamatters.com.