AIM Directors Kees and Darlene Vandermey are doing their part to make the world a better place from Elmira, Ontario. In doing so, they have set good examples along the way.
As independent distributors of AIM products, the Vandermeys have been sharing nutrition that works for years, supporting the health of others as well as their own.
“When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1990,” Darlene recollected, “I made lifestyle changes that included regular intake of a variety of AIM products, all of which helped improve my health.”
An avid bicyclist, Darlene had been told she would never cycle again after her diagnosis, but bike riding remains a vital part of her exercise routine to this very day.
“Kees and I cycle between 25 and 40 km, three times a week,” Darlene stated, “and we are both in our 70s. Along with taking the Garden Trio and a ProPeas smoothie daily, we are fueled for riding by the Sports Pack, so we also get Peak Endurance and extra RediBeets.”
About four years ago, the Vandermeys joined a cycling club comprised of mostly seniors who bike once a week as the Easy Riders. “We cycle in separate groups at different levels according to the speed and distance we can ride,” Darlene explained, “but COVID-19 protocols have stopped us from meeting in groups for over a year now.”
As members of Gale Presbyterian Church, Darlene and Kees—a retired minister—have supported a nonprofit organization called Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D) for many years.
In 2020, Darlene found out about the PWS&D’s annual Ride for Refuge that raises money for world mission projects on a designated day in the month of October. Darlene organized a small group named after their church affiliation: the Gale Riders. The 25-kilometer ride on an extremely cold day made the cycling all the more physically challenging.
Their group effort paid off with $2,780 from their sponsors, providing a substantial contribution to the more than $28,000 in donations nation-wide.
In October 2021, the Gale Riders returned to cycle 25 km along a local, town trail for this year’s Ride for Refuge event, once again following all health protocols for cycling. God blessed them with a beautiful fall day for the ride.
This time they brought in $4,120 of the over $30,000 raised in total, funds that will go toward food security projects for farmers worldwide, where hunger has worsened since the pandemic, plus other world mission needs.
To make another contribution during life in the time of COVID-19, the Vandermeys took part in a community effort inspired by people in Italy “noisily” supporting medical workers in video footage seen by one of their neighbors.
“From March 2020 to July 2021, we joined our neighbors in front of our respective homes every evening at 7:30 and banged on pots or played musical instruments for two minutes,” a tambourine-wielding Darlene explained. “It created a huge sense of community, taking care of and watching out for our neighbors.
“If somebody wasn’t out for a couple of nights, we would contact them to make sure they were okay. It wasn’t that we did a financial thing for anybody . . . more of a heartfelt support for our health care professionals that generated unexpected benefits.”
In the middle of all this collective sound of compassion, a nurse moved to the same street as the Vandermeys. “She could not express her thanks enough,” Darlene recounted.
If the fourth wave of COVID-19 continues, the Vandermeys and their neighbours may resume this community support on a weekly basis.
All of their inspirational endeavors have merited Kees and Darlene a place in the AIM Member Spotlight.
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