GRH is so fortunate to have a thousand dedicated volunteers, each with their own unique story.
So who better to tell those stories than someone who has walked in their shoes?
Amanda Paul is a five year veteran of volunteering at GRH. What started as a requirement for high school volunteer experience has grown into a passion.
Over the years, Amanda found she liked hearing the stories of the patients and family members who she was supporting. She’s now giving her time as GRH’s volunteer correspondent, telling the stories of her volunteer colleagues.
We’re thrilled to have Amanda’s contributions in bringing our volunteers’ stories to the community!
When did you start volunteering in the hospital?
I started volunteering at GRH in 2012, while I was in grade 11. This was during a time when I had to think about completing volunteer hours in order to graduate. Initially, my volunteer experience was rooted with the intention of just completing my required 40 hours for school. Flash forward five years later and I am still volunteering with GRH and I'm enjoying every part of it.
What areas have you volunteered in?
Over the time that I have volunteered at the hospital I have volunteered in various areas. My first position was working in the general store at Freeport for about a year.
From there, I volunteered my time with HELP (hospital elder life program) at Freeport. The HELP program definitely helped shaped my outlook on a world that is so much bigger than my own. I learned so many things just by having a simple conversation with a patient than I would have ever imagined.
One of my favourite parts about this position was listening about patients’ lives. Having them open up to me about what they have experienced throughout their lives was remarkable. Those are always stories that I'm going to remember. After volunteering with the HELP program, I recently acquired the position of volunteer correspondent with GRH’s communications department.
What have you enjoyed about the overall volunteer experience?
Overall, the most enjoyable part of volunteering with the hospital would be meeting a variety of wonderful people. By having worked with patients, staff, and volunteers, I have learned that everyone is going through some type of hardship in their lives, it takes a strong person to overcome that and be hopeful. My experience meeting with people from all walks of life has taught me so much about our community and the people who are a part of it.
What’s your current role, and what do you like about it?
As the volunteer correspondent I am responsible for contacting volunteers and meeting with them to write a web profile about their position and experience at the hospital.
I feel that this position has allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation for the time that every volunteer puts in towards the betterment of GRH.
Being a volunteer myself, I really think about how big of an impact that my time spent as a volunteer has on the hospital community until I meet with other volunteers. The work that volunteers do for hospital is something to be highlighted. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to showcase these volunteers who deserve recognition.
You have a lot to balance in terms of studies, work and volunteering. How do you do it?
I am currently in my final year of studies at the University of Waterloo, work two jobs, and volunteer at GRH.
Time management is a very important skill that I've had to practice in order to complete these tasks. Even though there are some days where I feel overwhelmed with all that I have going on, I take a step back and realize how much I enjoy each position that I have for different reasons. All which include the opportunity to meet with people and getting to appreciate that everyone has a different and unique story to tell.
What would you recommend to people considering volunteering in the hospital?
I would recommend to go for it because you never know what you will learn from an opportunity. My journey with GRH started out by needing to fulfill a requirement but I have stayed because I enjoy my time spent with the hospital.
Even though I am not pursuing a career in healthcare, I have found a way to use my knowledge and skills within the hospital. There are so many areas at GRH that require all types of skills sets, so anyone can volunteer and contribute.
I'd like to add that volunteers and the time they give are highly valued and appreciated at the hospital. Volunteers are what run our community and without the help and care from those who give their time, we would not be able to grow and help all those in need. By giving something so simple, such as your time, you are helping in so many more ways that you could ever imagine.