You can say helping is in Peggy Jones’s blood.
The Jackson’s Arm resident drives a school bus and is a caretaker for Main River Academy these days.
She is also a volunteer firefighter who spent 21 years as a former ambulance attendant, until about four years ago.
When she heard her White Bay South town was going to be the base of operations for a search for two missing snowmobilers, her instinct to do something kicked in.
While she wasn’t part of the search and rescue team that ultimately found the second of the men Monday afternoon, she did her part by bringing sandwiches and a pot of soup to the command station earlier in the day.
“The town has had a kind of black cloud over us all weekend thinking of these poor guys down there,” she said in an interview before the search came to an end. “Everybody has been talking about it and phoning to see if anyone has heard anything.
“We don’t know these people, but they’re fellow Newfoundlanders and you know what Newfoundlanders are like, they want to help others.”
Jones moved to Jackson’s Arm from Catalina on the province’s east coast when she was 11. Her father was a fisherman, she said, who regularly opened the family’s doors to anyone who needed help.
“There were nights I didn’t even know if I would have a bed to sleep in because dad would invite people to the house if they needed somewhere to stay,” she said. “I guess you could say helping and doing whatever I can has been bred into me.”
Through conversations held in the past few days, Jones said she now knows people, including some within her family, that know or are related to the two snowmobilers.
She said that just reinforces why it’s important to help when possible, no matter who is in need.
“After a while, you can connect the dots to someone you know,” she said. “When I heard of these connections, it just hit closer to home.”