This past year Rebecca and Joey Cummings took on a new experience of volunteering together in the GBHS Gift Shop. The mother and son team dedicated 3 hours per week to coming to the hospital to cover one of the evening shifts in the shop. They were the first to participate in a pilot to introduce family volunteering opportunities at GBHS.
This experience allowed them to spend time together and gain a shared sense of accomplishment and satisfaction by giving back to their community. It opened up new avenues of dialogue between them and gave them the opportunity to share talents and learn together.
When asked about it Rebecca said, "The opportunity to volunteer with my son was an exceptional experience for both of us. For Joey, it was eye opening and inspiring to see the many generous people who give their time out of the goodness of their hearts each and every day to help the hospital run its services. For me as a parent, I got to watch my son take pride in helping others, and I watched first hand as he transformed his thinking of a hospital from a scary institution to a place where halls are filled with caring people trying to make a difference."
In today's hectic lifestyle family volunteering makes sense for many families. Adding another commitment to their lives that sends them in opposite directions is not something they are looking for. Volunteering together at the same time in the same place is something that they are willing to try.
At GBHS, volunteer opportunities are available in the Gift Shop on evenings and weekends, and require the child to be at least 13 years of age and for an adult to accompany the child to their volunteering each time they are in. If you are interested in learning more about this experience please contact the GBHS Volunteer Resources Office at (519) 376 2121, Ext. 2886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Couples Who Volunteer Together...
As the old adage goes, "Couples Who Play Together...Stay Together". We like to think that those who volunteer together fall into that same category. Several of our volunteers at Grey Bruce Health Services are couples who have come to share this experience jointly. Whether they volunteer together in the same area, at the same time but in different departments, or on separate days, they feel like they are sharing a mutual purpose within their local hospital.Larry and Carol Reaney volunteer one afternoon per week, Carol in Surgical Waiting and Larry at the Front Reception area at the Owen Sound Hospital. Larry says "We like to come at the same time as it is convenient with one vehicle and we can plan our week around it." Both have lived a life of public service. Larry as an O.P.P. officer and Carol as a nurse. Throughout their early life in their respective jobs they often found themselves in the company of volunteers. They were the selfless people who offered their services in order to make their communities a better place.
The various hospitals Carol worked in always had volunteers to assist with the comfort and care of patients and more often than not the paramedics and firefighters were volunteers in those smaller communities. It always amazed Carol that these people would often put their own lives on halt to give their time to their community. Carol says "It was a natural fit for us, now that we have the time...to look to volunteering ourselves."
As newcomers to Owen Sound, Richard and Felicity Langstaff thought they'd like to become more involved in their community. After discussing several volunteer opportunities, they came to the hospital volunteer office and Felicity says "we were made to feel very welcome." It has been almost four years now since Felicity started volunteering in Day Surgery and Richard at the Front Reception area. Although they don't volunteer on the same day, they enjoy a shared experience in giving back to the community.
They have both volunteered in other capacities in other communities through the years and now feel rewarded by meeting and helping patients and staff here at the hospital.
The 1120 volunteers at Grey Bruce Health Services enhance the lives of patients and staff as well as raise money for equipment to improve health care in the Grey Bruce area. Most feel volunteering is good medicine, whether it is helping someone find their way in the many halls of the hospital or the new friendships they've made.
"The hospital could not function the same without our volunteers," says Kim James, Volunteer Coordinator at Grey Bruce Health Services. "Often when people are in hospital, their families are facing stressful and difficult times. Our volunteers are there, offering a helping hand and a warm smile to people when they need it most. We are extremely grateful to everyone who volunteers at GBHS."