Every volunteer at Providence Care has their own reason why they give back.
“Anytime you can bring joy to a patient while in the hospital is very fulfilling,” said Bill Hunter.
“We’re here to make their days a little bit brighter,” explained Lauren Golding.
“The money we raise goes to pay for beds, wheelchairs and walkers. Anything patients need,” added Beryl Dodd.
In the past year, close to 800 volunteers donated more than 40,000 hours of their time to Providence Care’s hospital, long-term care home and community programs and services.
From pitching in at welcome desks and outpatient clinics, to running bingos, coffee groups and gift shops, volunteers can be found lending a helping hand virtually everywhere.
“Volunteers visit with patients on the unit, they sell Nevada tickets, they’re in physiotherapy, we even have them working in our Hands-on Car Wash,” said Janet Hunter, Director of Volunteer Services.
“Whatever program we have at Providence Care, they’re there.”
“We wouldn’t be able to offer a lot of the services we provide for residents if it wasn’t for the volunteers,” added Danielle Preston, Recreation and Volunteer Coordinator with Providence Manor.
“The Coffee Shop, the pub, the Country Store, our chapel, these are staples to the home and we’re able to provide these things because of the volunteers.”
Volunteers range in age.
Some are as young as 14-years-old and sign up for the summer youth program.
They’re the dynamic duo that spark joy everywhere they go. Meet Bill Hunter and his ‘pawtner’ Guinness. The pair have been volunteering with the Pet Therapy Program at Providence Care Hospital and Providence Manor for a year a half. @VolunteerCanada #NationalVolunteerWeek #NVW19 pic.twitter.com/QIG6MnKYXg
— Providence Care (@providence_care) April 10, 2019
The oldest turns 95 in May, and shows up every Tuesday for her shift.
“It’s a good 95,” said Yolande Connors.
“It feels marvelous. It’s just a good thing to do.”
And when it comes to personalities, they all bring something different to the table.
“They all shine in their own ways,” said Tania Christie, Volunteer Coordinator.
“Some will have that bubbly personality, others will be amazing listeners. Some people enjoy the outdoors so they love taking patients for walks. Everyone is different but it’s that quality time they give that’s so important to our patients, clients and residents.”
But they do share some similarities.
All are dedicated, compassionate and have a desire to help others.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the job is every volunteer is a difference maker.
“Something as simple as taking a patient for a walk can improve their quality of life and boost their morale,” explained Chris O’Connor, Volunteer Coordinator.
“It also increases their level of happiness, which means they could require less attention from a therapist or a nurse. That time can then be used to care for another individual. It’s like a domino effect. Our volunteers help make those positive transitions every day.”
Every year, Providence Care rolls out the red carpet for its volunteers with appreciation events.
It’s an opportunity to celebrate their unique contributions, recognize long-serving volunteers and most importantly, to say thank you.
And while Hunter says she’s always thankful for everything volunteers do, she has a special message for them.
“Every day that you come in you’re making a difference,” said Hunter.
“You make them smile and you make them want to get out of bed to come to the programs to spend time with you. You just make them feel so special, and I thank you so much for being there for our patients, clients and residents.”
Every day this week we’ll be shining a spotlight on a different volunteer in honour of #NationalVolunteerWeek. Jane has been volunteering for two years and says it’s better than a pay cheque. @VolunteerCanada #NVW19 pic.twitter.com/i7tfJLhjPu
— Providence Care (@providence_care) April 8, 2019
And while most will tell you they’re not in it for the accolades, the praise they get on a daily basis is all the reward they need.
“I get from them the feeling of value and worth,” explained Jane Leduc-Potter.
“The number of times I get thanked in a shift is amazing, and it’s better than a pay cheque.”
Providence Care partners with Treasure Chest Bingo to raise funds for our Patient Comfort Fund which helps to purchase wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices for our patients, clients and residents.