She may only have two hands and two feet, but she gets a lot of use out of them. 97-year-old Helen Sidney has been cleaning up trash on the side of Bella Vista Road every single morning for the past 30 years or so. She walks over five kilometres each morning, picking up garbage with her own two hands.
"Being a schoolteacher we always took the students out to clean up the school yard, so it's bred within me to keep the environment clean," says Helen. "I was doing it when I was in Armstrong, and when I came to Vernon I just carried on."
With every passing vehicle, Helen never fails to pass on a wave. Mostly everyone waves back, and the odd one gives her a toot of the horn. She speaks to every person she crosses paths with along her walk. Just saying the name Helen Sidney in her territory perks people up – everyone knows her.
"My arm never gets tired waving to everybody," says Helen. "It's the best part of my day when I talk to people on my walks."
Helen is also a passionate dancer, and she mentioned she is going dancing six times this week. She loves all kinds of dance, although her favourites are line dancing and square dancing.
Helen has been recognized with many awards and accolades in the community for her strong commitment to her volunteer work. Just recently, one of her friends has been working on a nomination for Helen to be considered for the Order of British Columbia. Doing what she does at 97 years old, the Order of British Columbia would be well deserved.