Canada’s National Volunteer Week April 18-24, 2021 is a time to reflect on the act of kindness and the magic that happens when we work together toward a common purpose.
This past year has been like no other!
As the State of Emergency evolved to be more critical, regular volunteer placements had to be suspended. A multitude of tasks unrelated to normal healthcare activity was soon identified and citizens throughout the region stepped up to assist.
Throughout this past year citizens came forward through a call out from PMH as well as the Government of Manitoba, Help Next Door portal to assist with volunteer placements. Students in medical related study became available for short term placements. Citizens who met the pandemic volunteer registration screening criteria offered to assist throughout the region. Volunteers were recruited to help in Dauphin with meals on wheels programs as well as assistance with screening and tasks related to personal protective equipment, at facilities in Russell, Swan River, Souris, Virden, Grandview and several PMH programs in Brandon.
The Covid volunteer response for PMH sites has seen on average 50 volunteers offering 3 hrs per week of service over a period of critical need. Several of these volunteers remain in place offering support during this province wide state of emergency. One volunteer in particular, a university student signed on with BRHC in April and has remained active as a screener throughout the emergency response, taking time out of his fulltime university studies to offer 37 hours monthly. This volunteer is like many who contributed during this pandemic.
The Emergency Response also brought acts of kindness in contributions of homemade masks. Dozens of hand sewn non medical masks were offered to PMH which were utilized for outpatient programs as well as at facility access points. Gifts of cards and paintings of encouragement were supportive to all at PMH.
This combined effort with citizens helping their neighbors with tasks related to family at long term care facilities and in general aiding the healthcare workforce was and is a powerful network of support. We look forward to the resumption of many volunteer programs throughout the region when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, if you know a volunteer who contributes to your community, stop and give them your time and attention. They have made a positive impact during stressful times.