It's National Volunteer Week and the Grand River Hospital Volunteer Association is celebrating with a $200,000 donation to the GRH Foundation.
Caroline Shaughnessy has volunteered at the hospital for four years now.
She says it feels really special to be able to see the foundation get such a big donation on the volunteers' behalf.
“My husband died in this hospital four and a half years ago. When I trained some student volunteers, I always take them up and we go past that room, and I always tell them about that room. It makes me nice and warm and fuzzy to know that I’m now a part of the care he got, in a different manner.”
Brandon Van Dam of the Grand River Hospital Volunteer Association says it is inspiring to see so many volunteers celebrated at the Grand River Hospital.
“Some people have been volunteering here much longer than I have even been alive. We have volunteers with close to 50 years of service. Which just speaks to the great place that the Grand River Hospital is as a place to volunteer. This is just to say a big thanks to all the people who have dedicated most of their lives to volunteering at this place – it’s such an amazing accomplishment.”
Alex is a young volunteer who was also at the party.
He says he is proud to see the big donation made on his behalf.
“Little known fact that they mentioned during the presentation is that the government of Ontario doesn’t give hospitals money for equipment or anything like that. Donations such as this really do help immensely. It’s kind of surreal to be a part of that, because I know I couldn’t give out $200,000 dollars.”
Susan McKenzie is the Director of Development for the Grand River Hospital Foundation.
She says the foundation will make sure the donations go to areas of most need.
“We have a lot of donors who restricts their donations, which is fine – but to have money that is unrestricted, that will go towards where the hospital most urgently needs it to help patients is amazing. I think the volunteers understand that more than anyone.”
Van Dam says the money goes to a variety of needs in the hospital.
“We always find, lots of the time, the maybe not so ‘sexy’ projects. Anything that’s really going to go to patient care so in the past we’ve funded wheelchairs, we’ve funded the CT scanner, whatever’s the greatest need for patients is where we tend to focus our donations to.”
There are about a thousand volunteers who currently donate their time to the hospital.