National Volunteer Week

A Resounding Week of Thanks!

Without them, we couldn’t do it. The 200 plus volunteers who work with us are a vital link to the pursuit of our mission. From patient care, to the reception desk, housekeeping, the kitchen, and more, they give approximately 21,000 hours of volunteer work per year to the Palliative Care Residence.

Well, okay, they don’t work for the glory; but this National Volunteer Week (April 7-13) is theirs and we’re taking the opportunity to honour them.

These dedicated volunteers, who work or are retired, give on average, four hours weekly or every two weeks. Other volunteers offer their time, “on-call” according to the needs of the Residence, and some give support, working on individual fundraising events.

Volunteers contribute in many areas, also including, laundry, home baking, care, administration, gardening, lawn care, Recognition and Grief Follow-up programs and translation. We also have the volunteer services of a hairdresser, an electrician, musicians and a massage therapist, who has dedicated half a day every week since the opening of the Residence. Recognition is reflected this week across the country, honoring all these generous ” donors of time, talent and energy. ”

If you wish to join the Volunteer Team, you are welcome to contact the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence.

In Canada, National Volunteer Week runs under the theme “Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – Building confidence, competence, connections and community”  and in Quebec, under the theme “I volunteer, you volunteer, let’s combine our Volunteerism! “.

National Volunteer Week was first conceived in Canada in 1943 as a way to celebrate the contribution made by women on the home front to the war effort. After World War II ended, National Volunteer Week declined in popularity until the 1960s when it revived and eventually began gaining popularity in the United States as well.


Thank you to our Housekeeping Volunteers

Many thanks to all the volunteers who work in Housekeeping, both during the week and weekend. Even if we don’t meet each other often, we know you are there. Your openness and adaptability greatly facilitates our work. You never grumble, are independent and with a smile, you make the Residence a “5-star”. Wash, scrub, repair, maintain, renovate … These are tasks that you perform wonderfully well.  With your expertise in electricity, renovation or general advice of any kind, you make the team more complete and competent.

Having the chance to accompany you in room disinfection and floor maintenance work; watching you outdoors with the snow blower and clearing snow … what a pleasure to be part of a daily team with you. Watching you add beauty to our gardens, weeding flower beds; seeing that the lawn is always maintained, the birds (squirrels, turkeys wild raccoons, etc.) are always well fed. Hearing you speaking with the patients and their families on a daily basis is a real pleasure for the eyes and the ears.

How lucky we are to work with a team that has adapted to the changes; always present. A big thank you for your “Master’s Hand” in all you do.

Mario and  Cleni


Dear Administration Volunteers,

This week is dedicated to you, to highlight the exceptional work you do with care, attention and thoroughness. Without your great attitude, your professionalism and the skills that you bring to our mission, our daily life would not be as easy as you make it.

You display a smile so contagious and responsive, at the same time.

A few weeks after the arrival of Josée, our new Accounting Technician, you demonstrated your ability to embrace change by adapting the way you work, while maintaining a great attitude!

We admire your accuracy and the thoroughness you use to perform your tasks. You are certainly essential to the operations of our Department and also to the Residence.

Thank you for your volunteerism and helping us smile on days when it’s harder to do. Thank you for your joie de vivre and being with us. Thank you for reminding us of the true colors of mutual help and love that you share with us by donating your time.

Each one of you enrich our lives, daily and help us to make our work environment a good place.

But above all, simply, thank you for being you. »

It’s with a heart full of gratitude that we thank you!

Dominique Bérubé, Executive Assistant and Josée Poulin, Accounting Technician


 

Thanks from the Executive Director

First of all, I have a confession to make…

Prior to joining the Residence, I thought volunteering was rather a hobby: give a few hours to counter boredom and everyone benefitted.

From my first days in this Residence, I was surprised to find that the volunteers who worked here were different; volunteering here is far from being a hobby, it is much more a way of life!

Here, volunteers do not just give of their time, they choose to share precious moments of their lives with people who value every second that they or their loved one has left.
Four months later, I never cease to be amazed and touched by your daily gestures of generosity, your involvement, your enthusiasm, your initiatives and especially your attachment to our Residence.

You have not only transformed my vision of volunteering, you have transformed me! And the people you surround, by showing them that they are not alone in this final stage of life.

Volunteering is not a hobby; it is a calling, a mission. You are the builders of a better world and every day you help me be a better man.

I would like to say a few special words to the volunteers who sit on the Board of Directors for the VSPCR, these people who invest time, yes many hours in order to align the direction of the Residence, and even invest money.

Please join us in congratulating and thanking them, for without them, this great team would never be the same.

To all volunteers of the Residence, I sincerely thank you, on my behalf but especially on behalf of all those who have benefited and will benefit from your exceptional presence in our Residence.

Jean-François Thibert, Executive Director


They say it takes a village…

We here at the MSPVS kitchen work together to prepare nutritious comfort food for the patients, families, visitors, staff and volunteers.

These meals not only feed the body, but they bring comfort, and bring people together.

To do this we need a team.

Our volunteers are incredible, and work hard with so much love, joy and compassion.

There are many different ways to volunteer in the kitchen. We have volunteers that do a 4 hour shift, they help prep, do dishes, sanitize and clean, prepare patient trays, and assist in the everyday duties of the kitchen. We are open 365 days a year, that’s a lot of work to do!

We have home bakers that prepare, package and bring in wonderful home baked goods for us to offer everyone.

Cleaners that do the big jobs that can’t be accomplished during the regular schedules of a busy bustling kitchen.

There are volunteers that donate their time to collect cans and bottles, to trade in for money to buy needed kitchen equipment.  Volunteers who donate food, coffee, and or help raise funds for needed items. Even our ovens were purchased like this!

A group of friends organize themselves and prepare a Saturday evening schedule, replacing each other when necessary to always ensure there is a volunteer to assist staff on Saturday evenings which can be a difficult shift to fill.

We have volunteers who help during the holidays and other times to be a “chef for a day” taking on the role of chef, preparing the meals, and orchestrating the plating and delivery of meals, when staff is unable to work.

Even our inventory is counted and updated by a volunteer couple.

We always say we are so blessed to work with such a dynamic, caring, hardworking team of volunteers, without them this All would not be possible, and we as the staff in the kitchen want to say a HUGE thank you from the bottom of our hearts, each and everyone’s contributions make the world of difference to our patients, and families, staff and volunteers.

Samantha Vince, Tanya Hassanein, Sharon Thomas, Hannah Chrosciel


 

Thank you to the Reception Volunteers

It’s apparent that everyone entering the Residence feels a sense of well-being, as they’re greeted by a smiling, cheerful, caring and attentive person. From 8.30 am until 8.30 pm, you are at the station and available 7 days a week; 365 days a year.

The phone rings … it’s a call to a patient’s room; the sensitivity in your voice builds confidence in the caller who wants to talk to their close relative. The phone rings again and the call is transferred to an employee, with a smile. Once again, there is a call for the nurses’ station, which you delicately transfer.

A visitor arrives. She’s waiting for the ambulance that’s transporting her loved one, who will be admitted to the Residence in the next few minutes. You take the time to welcome her and immediately, she feels calmer; feels the tenderness and respect for the care that will be lavished on her loved one. The ambulance arrives; you phone the nursing station to notify them … then you remain silent and available to everyone.

When a family member needs to share their story, you listen.

In addition to the usual tasks, you help with the mail-outs, the sale of raffle tickets, the transfer of information for the fundraising events such as the Poinsettias Campaign, the Walk, and so many other tasks that facilitate our work. For all the times you have been asked to cut, fold, arrange, number, label, package or modify documents, leaflets, brochures, cards, invitations … THANK YOU! We couldn’t do it without you!

You represent a rainbow of color, each with your individual personalities that give the Residence its color. In a few words: Thank you for being here, thank you for being you and THANK YOU !!!!

Susan Bednarski and Mireille Fink, Coordinators Volunteer Services


Our Volunteers at the Heart of Care

Prepare the bath, with all the little touches, to accommodate the lady who has not had a bath in almost a year

Run to get a warm blanket to wrap up her shivering body, so she can finally fall peacefully asleep

Be the other hand that supports the weakened body of the man who`s hygiene care is being generously administered

Scrub the soiled linen, then wash, dry, and fold it with the same tender attention as if it were your own child’s linens

Take all the time necessary to collect the meal orders for each room, with patience and sensitivity

Help the lady take the last bite of the dessert that she adored

Sit and listen carefully to the man who confides his life story

Enter the room with a hair salon in a suitcase and with a few snips of the scissors, make a princess or a prince appear

Offer your talent by using the treble clef to let the music flow into the mind and heart of all

Be the hands that help you forget the pain, that massage with so much love … all for a hug!

Stay at the bedside of the lady who is alone and who will soon leave us

Mop in hand, take time for a little chat with the man and his daughter, while ensuring that everything is orderly and clean in this room, his last home

Find the right moment, the right word to make patients and families laugh

Be the one who, with her fairy fingers and patience, will turn this tired blanket into a final tribute to those who leave us

Share his canine companion, who will bring smiles, wherever he places his four little furry legs

Proudly wear his kilt to serve lunch to the lady, to remind her of her Scottish love

Tear the basement upside down, to find the man’s favorite recording or coveted book, when he expressed this wish, without expectation

These free, generous and deeply human gestures are you, our care volunteers, who provide them daily

You add the latest touch to the quality care we wish to offer our patients and families

You are not only important, you are essential and you are precious!

All the Care team, doctors, nurses and PAB’s unite in admiration to sincerely say thank you!


Dear Palliative Care Volunteers,

Your warmth and caring, your understanding and compassion, your generosity of spirit and all the small gestures that you give so freely without hesitation every single time is why we thank you so very much.

Greeting everyone with a smile at Reception, lending an ear to those who need someone to listen, helping the medical team care for patients, keeping the rooms spotless, providing clean linens, fresh coffee, baking special recipes, preparing meal trays, bringing a little beauty and colour to everyone with the gardens, providing entertainment by feeding the birds (and squirrels), lending support to our administration team, helping with fundraising events, regardless of weather, and so much more! On behalf of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence, my heartfelt thanks to you, our amazing team of dedicated volunteers, who make every day possible.

Susan Bednarski, Coordinator Volunteer Services