October 12, 2012 · 0 Comments
More than 330 people from William Osler Health System (Osler) came together on October 4th to celebrate the partnership and commitment of Osler volunteers. Since 2004, Osler’s Volunteer Association has held an annual Recognition Dinner to acknowledge the volunteers who dedicate their time to helping the hundreds of patients and visitors coming through the doors of Osler hospitals each day.
“Our 1,200 volunteers help us immeasurably by giving directions, comforting patients and families, transporting personal belongings to rooms and waiting areas, staffing the gift shop and making people feel respected and well cared-for, no matter what the circumstance. It’s reassuring to know that while our staff and physicians are working hard to provide safe and compassionate care, volunteers are there to support us,” said Kay Blair, Chair, William Osler Health System Board of Directors.
A number of active volunteers have given their time to Osler hospitals for over 47 years. These volunteers formed the Foundation for Etobicoke General Hospital for several years, even before it was built in 1972. Volunteers were also a driving force in fundraising efforts when Peel Memorial Hospital (now under redevelopment) opened in 1924. At both hospitals, volunteers routinely led activities that reached out into the broader community with raffles and sales of poinsettias, baked goods and cookbooks. Over the years, volunteer fundraising activities have brought in millions of dollars to Osler hospitals.
During the dinner, the Osler Volunteer Association demonstrated its incredible support with a cheque of $100,000 from activities undertaken over their 2011-2012 fiscal year, and pledged continued and increased support to the Foundation in the future. Another $150,000 was provided through direct equipment purchases this year.
To acknowledge the dedication of its volunteers, recognition pins are given for incremental years of 5, 10, 15, and up to 50 years. Over the past fiscal year, 153,037 hours have been logged by volunteers in Osler hospitals.
“The work of volunteers is making a significant difference in strengthening the health and spirit of our communities,” said Lori Diduch, VP Human Resources and Organizational Design, William Osler Health System.
And while these volunteers were feted for their contributions, the act of volunteering brings out the best qualities in human beings it and it requires a very special person to be volunteering their time and services at hospitals where people live on hope and prayer.