Volunteering is at the heart of our community and we wanted to spend this National Volunteer Week celebrating and thanking some of the people who give their time and expertise to the Hospital and the Foundation. We introduced some familiar faces, and some new ones, over the week on social media and sent a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who supports the work we do at the Foundation, including our volunteer board, and everyone who helps at our events.
Meet Donna Petroski, SPH Guiding Star, and Palliative Care Unit volunteer. Donna has been volunteering her time and energy at SPH for 16 years! She finds it very rewarding: “It has enriched my life, and has taught me new skills. The work I do here at the hospital is very gratifying and has brought me new friends, and improved my self confidence.” Volunteering at SPH makes Donna feel part of the community. “Working with others benefits your social life, and the more you give to others, the happier you become!” She received the Sovereign’s Caring Award from the Governor General in 2016. Donna we are so grateful for all your years of commitment to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, thank you for your passion!
“My dad used to say that the best way to be happy is to make others happy and I’m trying to follow this rule he taught me.”
Mehmet Tokkal is a mealtime host in the ECU. He believes “if it makes someone’s moment enjoyable; if you cheer up that patient at the hospital — because they are in a very vulnerable position — I think that makes volunteering worthwhile, even if their happiness is only for a short time. I chat with patients. I’m trying to cheer them up and it genuinely makes me happy. Some of them don’t have family members to visit them. I try to say hi to everyone and remind them that they are not forgotten at the hospital.” We love to see Mehmet’s smile and know our residents respond to his youth and energy.
Mehmet came to Canada three years ago as a refugee. He is very grateful for the life that Canada has given him, and sees volunteering as one of the ways that he can give back to society and show his gratitude. “I believe that if you are living in Canada you are very fortunate and you should share the happiness and your good fortune with others. This is one of the main reasons I volunteer at SPH, to pay back my portion. If we share the happiness of our fortunes I believe we can have a thriving and more tolerant society, and a happy society.” Mehmet, we applaud your volunteer attitude, and wish you well with your Law studies in the Fall!
Beverly Lewis has just joined the Foundation in the last year as a roving photographer for events held on the Peninsula. “Having only volunteered for a year I am learning there are many more avenues of volunteering within this community and the ability to give back to a community that I have lived for a large portion of my life. I look forward to learning more and perhaps volunteering even more, as I see there is a lot to this organization to keep me active for a very long time, and any time volunteering is totally worthwhile.” Beverly suggests: “If you have never volunteered in your community today is a great day to start. There are many smiles and stories to share with your neighbours, and make some new friends.” Thanks Beverly, we’re so happy to have you on our team.
For the past ten years, Barbara Harwood has written articles for our Donor Newsletter ‘Partners’. “Volunteering for SPHHF gives me a feeling of satisfaction. I meet some of the most wonderful people on the Peninsula whether they be donors, hospital staff or members of the public at large. They enhance my world by letting me share theirs. They are generous with their time, their knowledge and their courtesy. Over the years I have volunteered in various capacities, but my time with SPHHF has been the most rewarding. I look forward to being able to contribute for a few years to come.” Thank you Barbara we value your contributions to our newsletter, and to the Foundation.
Ellen McKenzie has been volunteering as an Administrative Assistant at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital for five years, scheduling volunteers for the Palliative Care Unit. “My role allows me to work from my home on a daily basis, averaging thirty-two hours per month. The volunteers in the Palliative Care Unit are well-trained and it is my pleasure to be able to schedule their shifts on a weekly basis. I enjoy working with all of the PCU volunteers and I greatly admire the work that our Volunteer Coordinator does to make sure that this hospital has only the best of volunteers.”
Ellen says that “Volunteering at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital has enabled me to give back to my community. My late husband received such excellent care at Saan Pen and, after his passing last summer, I was able to commit to a volunteer position in the Medical Imaging Department. I get to greet patients who require X Rays, set them at ease, and allow the Technicians time to do the jobs for which they have been trained.” Ellen, your commitment to the hospital is incredible, thank you for all the hours you share with us.
To round off National Volunteer Week we’d like to introduce Lindsay Meissner, Coordinator, Volunteer Resources. Lindsay takes care of all our volunteers and makes sure their talents and skills are used to best effect at Saan Pen. “SPH is a great place to volunteer! We have a wonderful mixture of experienced and new volunteers eager to volunteer alongside you. Also, we have a great variety of volunteer roles! From bingo, chair yoga, gardening in the ECU, to supporting patients in the ER, Palliative Care, and Medical Imaging, there’s something for everyone. Staff here are thrilled to have volunteer support, so you’ll feel appreciated from the start!”
If you’re interested in finding out more, please get in touch: Lindsay.Meissner@VIHA.ca or call 250-652-7519