Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson Column: You can bet on Mr. Betts to lend a hand

Most folks who are working and have children don’t have time to get everything done around the house

During times of distress, look for the helpers is what Mr. Rogers used to say.

No doubt there are a great many helpers out there trying to make a difference in this pandemic-laden world, and I’ve found just one that I’d like to tell you about.

His name is Brian Betts and he’s a retiree from Lake Cowichan.

“I have a pickup truck, tools and time,” explained Betts when asked about his offer on Facebook to help out Lake Cowichan’s health care workers with their chores.

Betts put out an offer on Facebook’s Lake Cowichan Happenings community page mid January that said, “Are you a health care worker that lives in Lake Cowichan or do you know of one? I’m offering my services free to do any chores that may make your life a little easier.”

That’s it, that’s all. Short and to the point.

(As an aside, isn’t that a nice thing to say to people? “What can I do to make your life a little easier?” I don’t know why but I really like that. It’s not promising anything grand and it’s not offering the world, it’s just a simple way to let somebody know you’re there for them, even if it’s something mundane and seemingly small, if it makes their life easier, you’re there to help. I love it.)

The question I asked him was why he’s making the offer to strangers. The answer was effectively, “Because I can”.

Sounds like a good enough reason to me.

“I saw a relative’s post on Facebook about helping health care workers — babysitting, cleaning their houses and stuff and thought ‘I can do that’. I was trying to figure out how I can help somebody out and I definitely wanted to help the health care workers. They’ve had an exhausting work schedule the last couple of years.”

The father of two grown daughters says most folks who are working and have children don’t have time to get everything done around the house “and I’ve got the time and I’ve got the skills to do it.”

Betts said when he goes to his daughters’ homes, they’re always getting him to fix this, or fix that while he’s visiting and he’s more than happy to do it and to extend those same services to health care workers right now.

During his working life, he’s been an equipment operator, a carpenter, even a real estate agent and thus, he has a unique set of skills from which to draw.

What’s more, the snow bird is “suffering from severe boredom.”

(His words, not mine.)

You see, Betts usually heads to Arizona for the winter but COVID-19 is of course keeping him home.

He figured he might as well make the best of his idle time. It’ll give him something to do and make a difference in the life of a busy health care worker.

“I can haul stuff to the dump, clean out their garage, fix a broken gate or door that doesn’t latch,” he trailed off. “I can help somebody who is well deserving of and needing some type of help.”

While he put the offer out the day before I spoke to him, and got lauded by two dozen people on Facebook, Betts hasn’t had anyone get in touch just yet.

“I’m a little disappointed. I thought that somebody would be anxious to get something fixed,” he admitted. “They probably have an a garage full of old junk but are just hesitant to call.”

He encourages health care workers around the lake to get in touch.

“I’m a real good handyman,” he said. “I’ve been doing it all my life and I enjoy it. I’d welcome the chance to help someody and get busy.”

I sure hope somebody takes up his offer because it’d really be a win-win for both the recipient and Betts.

ColumnistComedy and Humour