Hospital’s volunteer ‘gems’ thanked at annual tea

In the past year, 500 volunteers gave 60,000 hours of their time to St. Joseph's General Hospital.
Those volunteers were honoured for those contributions last month during the hospital's annual volunteer appreciation tea.
This year's theme was "our volunteers are gems."

Pat allan (left)

Pat allan (left)

In the past year, 500 volunteers gave 60,000 hours of their time to St. Joseph’s General Hospital.Those volunteers were honoured for those contributions last month during the hospital’s annual volunteer appreciation tea.This year’s theme was “our volunteers are gems.””I know many of you feel you don’t really need to be thanked,” said Pat Allan, the hospital’s manager of volunteer services. “It’s important for us as a community to take a couple of hours to reflect. We completely understand that here you give us the ultimate gift, the gift of your time, and we thank you so much.”Cynthia Davies thanked the many volunteers who participated in the tea on behalf of the St. Joseph’s board of directors.”It’s interesting that as I look around, there are a lot of grey heads,” she said. “I see a lot of people who have been here for a few years. In our parents’ generation, when that happened, it was time to retire and wait to pass on to the next world … that is not the case now. Life begins at retirement. In our world today, time is precious and very, very invaluable, and it’s rare.”Davies told the volunteers she thinks they give more than time, although they might not realize it.”You are also training the next generation of volunteers,” she said. “Every time someone comes into our hospital and receives care from a volunteer, a seed is planted … you are everywhere, and what you give today matters today, but even more, it prepares the way for the future.”Davies emphasized to never question the value of volunteers.”Noah’s ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals,” she said.Cathie Sturam, the hospital’s manager of operating room services, thanked the volunteers on behalf of ambulatory care and day care.”It’s wonderful we can acknowledge all of you and your hard work,” she said. “You are the bones of this hospital.”Brenda Phillips expressed gratitude on behalf of the residents, family members and staff at the Views.”I have said it more than once — we would not be able to provide more than 80 per cent of our programs and services without our volunteers,” she said. “As I think of the number of volunteers involved in the Views, it is almost overwhelming.”Ann Zanbilowicz, chair of the new Views Family Counsel, spoke about being a volunteer.”It’s my first year as a volunteer, and I think I’ve gotten more out of it than anyone else,” she said.During the tea, Allan presented the Dig In and Get It Done award to Pat Fish of the St. Joseph’s General Hospital Auxiliary.”I’ve learned a lot from Pat,” said Allan. “The name of this award is perfect for Pat. When she sees something that needs to be done, there’s no stopping her.”Fish has been president of the Auxiliary a couple of times and has been a buyer at the Gift Shop, which raises about $90,000 a year for the hospital.”From the bottom of my heart, you are one of the most special people, one of my favourite people in the entire world,” Allan told Fish.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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