We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  Winston Churchill

It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week,  a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s volunteers.  NVW 2015 is officially April 12-18.  A volunteer action is like a stone thrown in a lake: its effect has a direct impact. At the same time, like ripples, volunteer efforts reach out far and wide to improve communities. Undeniably, volunteers rock!

The Niagara Health System is shouting out thanks to the 1,200 volunteers who support their patients and families across the region. Volunteers help provide quality patient-centered care in a wide range of departments, including Cardiac Rehab, Clinical Nutrition, Critical Care, Emergency Department, Medical Imaging, Mental Health, Outpatient Clinics, Palliative Care, Recreation, Religious and Spiritual Care, Surgical Services and the Walker Family Cancer Center. Volunteers also support the important work of OneFoundation for Niagara Health System and Auxiliaries by raising funds for equipment through Gift Shops, Lottery Ticket Sales and other resource-generating ventures.

“Volunteers contribute in many ways – from comfort measures at the bedside, to fundraising for new equipment, to the board of directors – we’re all focused on creating a great experience for patients and their families,” says Debbie Anderson, Coordinator Volunteer Resources for NHS.

Niagara is proud and appreciative for a long history of hospital volunteerism. The St. Catharines Hospital Auxiliary is celebrating 150 years of service in 2015. The first volunteers were sharing their time at the hospital when people were still travelling by horse and buggy.


“Our hospital volunteers contribute to a great experience for patients and their loved ones,” says Andrea McCollum, Coordinator Volunteer Resources. “They are engaged in meaningful, challenging work, and together have a significant and positive impact on local healthcare. They make a difference.”

Making a difference seems to make NHS volunteers happy. In a recent satisfaction survey, 98% said they would recommend volunteering at the NHS to their family and friends.

If you’ve thought about volunteering, why not make the move today?  There are MANY opportunities out there.  To learn more about the NHS volunteer program go to: www.niagarahealth.on.ca/en/volunteer-resources

SOURCES: volunteer.ca, Niagara Health System (pictured in main photos are NHS volunteers from left: Denise Chuchman, Gail Duquette, Pamela Shara)

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