The United Nations has designated December 5th as International Volunteer Day, as a chance to celebrate the work done around the globe by volunteers working on behalf of all kinds of organizations.

Here at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, our volunteers’ generosity is truly inspiring. We are fortunate to have over 250 active volunteers who generously give a total of 18,000 hours a year to support our mission of serving with compassion, care and courage.  

St. Joseph’s has 89 different volunteer roles both on site at our Health Centre on Westmount Road and at a number of satellite locations around the Waterloo Wellington region where St. Joseph’s runs different programs.  Just some of the ways volunteers contribute to the St. Joseph’s community are by:

  • Helping patients and residents get around our Health Centre and participate in activities 
  • Serving clients at the Silver Maple Coffee and Gift Shop and the Hair Care Place
  • Enriching the lives of the patients and residents in St. Joseph’s Neighbouhoods by visiting them, walking with them, reading to them, playing a game with them, or assisting them at mealtime.

To observe International Volunteer Day, we wanted to introduce you to Shirley, one of our extraordinary volunteers.

Shirley is one of our longest-serving volunteers at St. Joseph’s.  She has been graciously donating her time to help the residents and patients at our Health Centre for over 20 years.  

Her history with St. Joseph’s goes back even further. As a nursing student, Shirley completed her co-op term in geriatrics at St. Joseph’s. After she retired from a successful career in nursing, she decided to come back to volunteer her time.  Shirley can often be found helping residents get to their hair salon appointments, helping the recreation therapy team with activities like arts and crafts, and lending a hand at special events throughout the year.

If you ask Shirley why she volunteers, she’ll tell you it’s because volunteering at St. Joseph’s makes her feel more connected to her community and her nursing career, and it certainly beats sitting at home.

We are a better place in which to live, heal and work because of the all the volunteers who, like Shirley, choose to give their time to support our St. Joseph’s community.

Thank you.