Volunteer Spotlight: Louise Hoelscher
VOLUNTEER READING TEAM COORDINATOR
Louise joined BCFI in Sept 2016 as a book club facilitator at Joliette Institution for Women. She has now taken on the additional role of Reading Team Coordinator, heading a team of dedicated readers who produce our new reading list every year.
With a lifelong love of books, as well as an interest in criminology, Louise found BCFI a perfect fit for combining these two interests. In BCFI, Louise says she knew she had found something that would become very dear to her heart. "What I didn’t know when I first started," she adds, "was that the incarcerated women in my book club would teach me so many important life lessons, more so than I could ever teach them.
At the Joliette English book club, Louise says there is no place for judgment or past mistakes. Instead, it is a place for listening, and for having compassion, understanding and acceptance.
"It’s about sharing different points of view in a respectful setting. It’s about connecting with people from different walks of life, different upbringings, and different cultures, and realizing that they are not that different from you and me."
Louise began her work as a BCFI volunteer thinking she would give back to society. Instead, she says BCFI has given her the tools to be a better person.
"It’s not about books, although the books help to guide us. It’s about people, and people matter no matter where they live, and where they live does not define who they are.”