AMHERST - For the better part of three decades, Louise Small has been knocking on doors on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
"I was always concerned about community work, and I was always active," said the petite woman from her home on Beacon Street.
With 27 years under her belt with the foundation, Small was recently honoured and recognized for her dedication with a gold pin.
"Mostly it's canvassing door-to-door, but I enjoy meeting the people, seeing the people.
"It's such a worthy cause. They all are."
Along with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Small donates her time in areas pertaining to cancer, kidney disease and, more recently, diabetes.
"I would like to inspire others to volunteer, but the younger people just don't seem to have the time. They're enjoying their lives and have other commitments, but it's difficult to get volunteers to canvass."
Twenty years ago, Small's husband, Cecil, suffered a heart attack and was able to fully recover.
Three years ago, her granddaughter, at the age of 26, suffered a stroke that paralyzed her down one side. She, too, has since fully recovered.
"Strokes are terrible," Small said.
Throughout the years, it's been the worthiness and the caring that's kept Small to volunteer her time, which she says she will continue to do until she's no longer able to because of her health.
"I think anybody wanting to volunteer at anything should do it. There are so many people they are helping out down the road, especially by collecting money for research," noted Small.
"Some people think it's not helping right at hand when they donate, but we need the research done first."