After 42 years of full-time careers in education, social work, and community health, I retired just in time to be a grandpa and enjoy this phase of life with my wife. Enjoying our cottage and time with 5 grandkids, I was still looking for an ‘on-the-ground’ volunteer experience where I could provide direct support to help others. I had watched news coverage of RMH opening in Windsor, so I made the connection and have enjoyed my experiences as a volunteer ever since.
I get to help in a variety of ways, from stocking the mini-fridge so parents never have to go without a creamer in their coffee, to helping day-pass guests become familiar with the House’s amenities. I especially enjoy taking the Cart With a Heart into the NICU and Pediatrics Units where I can offer fresh coffee and snacks to families sitting bedside, as well as to the medical, cleaning and security staff who are all worthy of respect and support.
I have been moved by the interaction of families among themselves, sharing their stories and offering support to each other. I wear my RMHC-SWO Volunteer t-shirt with pride, and some parents will share their experiences with me to which I lend an encouraging and supportive ear as best I can. I will continue to educate others on RMH when they see the RMH logo I am proud to display – giving me a good feeling when I head home after a volunteer shift knowing that I’ve done something productive for others.
You can be assured of a thorough and complete screening and interview process, followed by full training and orientation. You will always be supported by on-duty staff to answer any questions and to guide you. You are free to decide which duties you choose to undertake or not. You will be treated with respect at all times, and will often enjoy informal chats around the kitchen table (which is always loaded with a variety of goodies). Most importantly - you will end your shift with a feeling that you’ve helped families who are facing great stress.
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