“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Autism Ontario York Region would be a very different place if it wasn’t for the legion of amazing people who give their time and energy, free of charge, to keep it going. Our volunteers are as diverse as our community, and we couldn’t manage without them. But what makes someone volunteer their time to AO York?

Today we introduce you to Ilsa, who has sold thousands of dollars’ worth of raffle tickets, and is always willing to pitch in when needed.


Meet Ilsa Kamen

Tell Us About Yourself?

I’m 57 years old, married 30 years this July. I am the mother of 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. My youngest, Avi who will be 18 this summer has autism. My oldest daughter Jody, is a graphic designer and works in New York City. Next is Sari, she is a registered nurse. Corey is doing his Masters in Medical Science at Unof T. Marlee is studying at Queen’s University and is in the concurrent education program. I was a legal secretary for 32 years and I said I retired 3 years ago – then this past year I went back to do some reports for a lawyer to help him out. I am an avid walker and I love to swim and do Aquafit.

Where Would You Most Like to Live?

In a warmer climate. No ice!!!

Which Living Person Do You Most Admire?

My daughter Marlee, who lives in constant pain due to back issues and who underwent back surgery at 18.

Ilsa’s son Avi at last year’s camp overnight.

How Long Have You Been Volunteering with Autism Ontario York Chapter?

Three to five years.

Why Do You Volunteer with Us?

To fulfill my camp commitment.


What’s Your Idea of Perfect Happiness?

Everyone being healthy and my kids being happy.


Who are Your Heroes in Real Life?

My kids.

What do You Get from Volunteering?

Fulfillment that I am helping the fabulous organization that provides Avi with his amazing summer!


Feeling inspired?  We’d love to have you!  Bring your passion and talents and let us put you to work.

Email york.communications@autismontario.com  – you’ll see why some of the most rewarding work is the stuff you don’t get paid to do.