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Interlake-Eastern RHA extends thanks to volunteers

This year for National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 14-20), Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority is acknowledging 343 people from around the region who are donating their time as volunteers in health facilities and programs.

The theme for volunteer appreciation is “Be in the moment, because every moment counts.”

“This theme captures the notion that life is made up of moments and the ones we spend helping others are some of the most meaningful and rewarding,” says Interlake-Eastern RHA CEO, Marion Ellis. “Volunteers are an important part of the region’s work every day of the year. Thank you.”

On behalf of residents of the region, IERHA’s board chair, Michele Polinuk extends her thanks to volunteers.

“The IERHA board of directors thanks and applauds each volunteer for their tireless service throughout the year,” says Michele Polinuk, Interlake-Eastern RHA  board chair, “If you, or someone you know is looking to make a difference in the community and bring a little joy into our staff, patients and residents’ lives, we have opportunities for you.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with the region can choose from several opportunities. Personal care home resident and patient support includes reading, activities and crafts, assisting with meal times and transportation and more. The palliative care program is seeking volunteers for this year’s annual grief camp, held at Camp Arnes, for children that runs May 31-June 2.

To identify interest in volunteering for Camp Stepping Stones please contact Barb Ramsay, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s volunteer coordinator, [email protected], 1-855-494-7369.

The spiritual care program is running another ‘Spirit of Caring’ course in Stonewall Hospital (Multipurpse Room A & B ) to train people who want to volunteer and/or learn more about spiritual health, dying and death, spiritual development and trauma and crisis. The course takes place every Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  from April 26 to June 28. Additional training dates and locations will be identified for the fall as well.

To identify interest in signing up for the ‘Spirit of Caring’ course please contact Ferdinand Funk, Regional Spiritual Health Services Coordinator by phoning 204-461-3414 or emailing [email protected] by April 24, 2024.

Learn more about other volunteer opportunities here:

Be in the moment, because every moment counts

Gerry Grienke, 76, has been volunteering at Kin Place Personal Care Home for 13 years. He started when his father-in-law, Andrew Paterson was a resident and he continued volunteering after Andrew passed 10 years ago. Gerry helps out with the bingo for 15 to 20 residents at Kin Place and one resident calls him the “Bingo Man” when she sees him in the hall.

“Lots of people in personal care homes have great stories and personalities. Sometimes they tell you the same story more than once but you get used to that – I always act like it’s the first time I’m hearing it,” Gerry said.

His favourite parts of volunteering have a lot to do with the connections he makes.

“I like the people and the staff. The staff keep me informed on what’s happening with the residents. I tell people to give volunteering in a personal care home a chance – you may be pleasantly surprised by the people. If you like talking to people and chatting I think you will really enjoy it like I do.”

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