Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Canada Celebrates National Volunteer Week

It's National Volunteer Week In Canada
April 19-25th, 2009

Over the past two years I have spent time working in our
local hospital coordinating the volunteers in the various organizations.
Our local hospital has over 250 volunteers.

Even during times of recession, volunteers are still
rolling up their sleeves, sharing their skills,
to better their communities and the lives of others.

This past week we hosted our annual Education Day,
and offered four workshops that were led by professionals.
  1. The Cost of Caring
  2. Help the Bugs are Back!
  3. What's a Black Code Anyways?
  4. The Future of Volunteers
Our newly elected Mayor, Sharon Gaetz welcomed our volunteers and
heaped accolades to them for the difference they make.

Our chaplain led us in a session, called
The Cost of Caring, and he used a clip from
The Bucket List video.
This clip gave the message that the hospital,
somehow, is not the best place to be.
He addressed how important it is to validate the patients feelings.
And yet at the same time,
he suggested strongly that we also learn to care for ourselves.
Most volunteers fall into the trap of victimizing themselves,
because they care so deeply about helping others.
How do we avoid the trap of martyrdom?

What's a Black Code Anyways?
We had another instructor walk the volunteers
through the Quick Code Reference.
Most of us are not familiar with the codes,
and it becomes more and more important for us
to understand and respond to the codes appropriately.

Help the Bugs are Back!
Infection Control!
During this session the nurse had all the volunteers,
put plastic gloves on and added a bit of paint to their hands.
They were then asked to rub there hands.
We've been teaching all our volunteers,
to hand out Isogel packets to patients demonstrating
the importance of hand hygiene in the hospital.

Does anyone recognize the person to the right?
She is a wonderful leader that supports,
brainstorms, deletes meetings, redefines methods,
reorganizes and restructures her life to help others suceed.
I am privileged to work together with her.

The Future of Volunteers!
Many Boomers are retiring and they view volunteering differently.
Their interests and aspirations are as diverse as you are.
They run marathons, bike in remote parts of the world or go on yoga retreats.
They are learning a new language, taking an art course or planting a perennial garden.
They're always looking for new experiences,
personal challenges, and how to make a difference.

Of course, this event could not happen without our most supportive staff.
Peggy has worked many years at CGH and is more than willing
to help when some of us are on the crunch lines.

Sandy's pleasant voice will always be heard at the Reception Desk.
She too, keeps everyone on track and fills in all the details
that seem to be endless on any given day.

"I shall pass through this world but once.

Any good thing therefore that I can do,

or any kindness that I can show,

to any human being, let me do it now.

Let me not defer it or neglect it,

for I shall not pass this way again."

Volunteering, Where do you fit in?


  1. Thanks for this timely post Marg..there is always a need for volunteers in many areas. The next volunteer job for us is the annual 'clean up the city'..we'll be out there picking up garbage this coming Saturday!

  2. I just returned from the hospital...and noticed a 'volunteers lounge'...and thought of you. (I know you wouldn't be lounging on volunteer duty!)

    Your workshop sounded most interesting. What is a black code anyways? Sounds bad.

  3. Black Code is a Bomb Threat.

  4. Our family is on the receiving end right now. The volenteers at the hospice where one of our family members is are just wonderful. They have been trained well to support, love, encourage and help where needed. I have noticed that they go above and beyond what we could ever ask. Thanks you to all the people who give of their time to volenteer in many are a blessing! Kathy

  5. Oh fantastic Marg. .you would be such a fun volunteer to work with. . I'm wondering how you delete meetings. . I'd have done that lots of times if I had the chance.
    Oh ..tonight we are volunteering at marriage mentorship program. .and I volunteer to babysit for free. . whilst the mommys make a difference in the world of health care and education .. I'd say I'm kind of a behind the scenes person.

  6. Good post, Marg. I was volunteering at our church's food share giveaway every week. It closed two months ago and now I'm praying I'll know what to do next.

  7. Hi Marg. How does one get 'signed up' as a volunteer? I am currently looking for a volunteering opportunity and am wondering if this one might be a good one for me.

  8. I'm realizing more and more that helping others is what is most important (and satisfying) in life.

  9. "Our local hospital has over 250 volunteers."

    Wow, that is very impressive. You're doing an amazing piece of work, keep on going! Volunteering is such an amazing activity!

    Take care and good luck, Elli

  10. I didn't know there were so many color codes! That makes sense.
    Volunteers don't need a lot to get them going, but it is so nice when they do get recognized. I didn't volunteer for any canvassing this spring and now I feel a little guilty.

  11. Imagine how wonderful our world would be if everyone would volunteer for something.

    Good for you.

  12. Marg, you did a wonderful job of sharing the Education and Celebration of Volunteers on this day. But more than that, you did a FABULOUS job of being the Volunteer Volunteer Coordinator who put in endless hours make this day a success. I can't thank you enough for the help that you have given over the last year....couldn't have made it if you hadn't been there....many thanks for being the "best volunteer ever!"

  13. Marg.. what a great informative post!
    I admire what you do!

    PS... I also commend you for not giving up! whose time are we on anyway...and you have my # ?


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