Volunteer helps patient in a wheel chair

It’s time to applaud our SHN volunteers!

Our SHN workplace family would not be complete without our team of volunteers, who help us to provide exceptional care for patients and families across our health network. We appreciate our volunteers’ commitment to SHN every day — and especially during National Volunteer Week, we thank them for the choice they have made to give back to their community.

For a first time, this National Volunteer Week (April 19 to 25), we are missing our volunteers’ smiling faces and friendly voices at our hospitals. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, our volunteers are staying at home to protect themselves, our frontline staff, and our patients. However, not only does the spirit and dedication of our volunteers still echo through our hospital lobbies, halls, clinics, and units — many of our volunteers continue to contribute from their homes through initiatives such as virtual pre-screening for our hemodialysis program, and crafting, sewing, and donating fabric supplies for staff.

“It’s been said, ‘Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.’ This is the true spirit of what it means to be a volunteer. And here at SHN, we are fortunate to have almost 1,600 volunteers who show up at our hospitals wanting to do more…”


The gift of volunteer services through the year

Over the last year, volunteers have been a true force of compassion and commitment in SHN’s journey to transform the health experience. We can never acknowledge and thank our volunteers enough for their amazing contributions, commitment, and dedication.

Almost 1,600 volunteers at SHN

Over 85,000 hours of service

More than $25,000 in fundraising

In 2019-20, we had approximately 1,600 volunteers across our three hospitals and supporting satellite and regional programs in the community. Through their generous gift of time, skills, and talents, volunteers contributed over 85,000 total hours of service.

Volunteers helped with greeting patients and families; assisting with registration and way finding; staffing our information desks and gift shops; providing patient support and education; filing, data entry, and other administrative support; sharing their experiences and insights as patient family advisors to support hospital programs and initiatives; and fundraising just over $25,000 for the Foundation.

Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

SHN is pleased to acknowledge our 2020 Ontario Service Awards volunteer recipients. We are honoured to join Ontario in applauding these compassionate and courageous individuals for their dedication. We commend our volunteers for their contributions to excellent patient care at SHN. The awards ceremony was postponed, but will be held later in the year when it is safe to do so.

Award recipients: Sheila Cannata, Kailin Chu, Hilda Fay, Dagmar Freelan, Fatima Gentle, Shirley McDonald, Betty McBride, Shradha Patel, and Peter Vanderyagt

Our long-standing volunteers

We would also like to acknowledge some of our long-standing volunteers who have each contributed over 30 years of service to SHN. We will be honouring all the extraordinary community members at our Volunteer Recognition Dinner for all volunteers that will be held later in the year when it is safe to do so.

McDonald, Shirley – 60 years
Betty McBride – 45 years
Barbara Anderson – 35 years
Joyce Dorman – 35 years
Gerry Haldenby – 35 years
Marilyn Reix – 35 years
Thelma Tappin – 35 years
Marion Tyrrell – 35 years
Joan Rodgers – 35 years
Melville Collie – 30 years
Rosabelle Jeevaratnam – 30 years

Honouring our longest serving volunteer

Shirley McDonald is our longest-standing volunteer, who has provided service to SHN for the last 60 years. Shirley began her volunteer journey at our General hospital on May 5, 1960. She has volunteered in numerous assignments, such as clinical units, information desks, executive roles with our volunteer auxiliary, volunteer office, archive committee, and countless fundraising initiatives. Additionally, Shirley is currently the Chair of our Social Committee and she previously held the title of Chair of Candy Stripers and the Director of the Volunteers Auxiliary.

Photo gallery

Messages of Thanks from SHN

The theme for National Volunteer Week 2020 is: It’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers. Join us in cheering for all of Canada’s volunteers, and loudly and proudly thanking each and every one of our volunteers at SHN!

Elizabeth Buller

President and CEO

On behalf of our health network, I would like to say thank you to our team of volunteers, who generously put their time, talents, and hearts into supporting our patients and hospital community.

It’s been said, “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.”

This is the true spirit of what it means to be a volunteer. And here at SHN, we are fortunate to have almost 1,600 volunteers who show up at our hospitals wanting to do more — wanting to make a difference in the lives and health experiences of our patients and their families. What a special gift that we are grateful for every day at SHN.

As greeters, you are the welcoming face of our health network. As way finders, advisors, and comforters of patients and families, you are the helping hands of our hospitals. As fundraisers and supporters, many of whom have given years and decades of service, you bring the heartbeat of our community to SHN.

‘Despite the current crisis and the changes we’ve gone through together, we remain connected. There is not an area at Scarborough Health Network that has not been touched by the work of our volunteers.

We thank you, and we miss you. Be well and stay safe.

Michele James

Vice President, People and Transformation

As we reflect on the service of our incredible team of volunteers over the last year, I am struck by how your steadfast commitment to our hospitals, to our patients, and to our Scarborough community has never wavered.

Together, as we have grown as one connected health network, we have seen changes and new opportunities that truly have been once in a generation. Through it all, our volunteers have not only continued to give of themselves, you have also been champions for our vision, mission, and values at SHN.

Now the global COVID-19 pandemic brings new changes and uncertainty. As volunteers, you are staying at home to not only protect yourselves, but also to protect SHN staff and patients, who all miss having you at our hospitals.

Despite these recent challenges, once again your commitment as volunteers has been resolute. In fact, you’ve taken up the mantle and dove ahead into finding new ways to be there for your hospital community. Through virtual volunteerism, many of you have continued to provide compassionate and inclusive care that extends from beyond our hospital walls. It is simply amazing. Some of you are chanelling your creativity to make ‘scrub bags’ for staff to use to carry their uniforms, hair bonnets and mask mates to make the wearing of masks a bit more comfortable for our staff.

We appreciate our volunteers’ dedication to SHN every day, and yet acknowledging the work of our volunteers during this year’s National Volunteer Week is even more significant in the world we find ourselves today.

To all of our SHN volunteers who give of their time to support our health network: thank you for your continued work and service. We cannot express deeply enough how much you are appreciated and valued!

Guy Bonnell

Vice President, Community Development, SHN Foundation

To our amazing SHN Volunteers!

My heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all of you as we celebrate National Volunteer Week!

Your time, commitment, and passionate care for others helps those that need it most.

Individuals, families, young and old alike benefit from your caring, compassionate generosity of spirit that truly makes a difference for all in the Scarborough community.

With grateful thanks for all that you do! Kind regards!

Florence Edebiri

Manager, Volunteer Services

Our world is a better place because of volunteers like you! With your time and effort, you supported your community hospital with compassion, commitment and dedication.

Over the years you have made a significant impact in every area of SHN: clinical, customer support services, and fundraising. Having connected with many of you over the years, you are the volunteers who are thankful for the opportunity to help others and give selflessly to the patients and staff at SHN. I hope I can convey to you how much you are missed, and truly appreciated by everyone for your contribution to their departments. By choosing to volunteer at SHN, you have proven that your time and talents are priceless.

You continue to make remarkable contributions to Scarborough Health Network even in the midst of one of the most challenging times in health care — during this COVID-19 pandemic. The overwhelming responses from you to help and assist with the virtual projects in support of our frontline staff at SHN is nothing short of remarkable. Many of you are still relentless in your efforts to help and give because you are truly an amazing caring, courageous, and innovative group. This is a testament of your love and care for your community.

While we join with other organizations across Canada to appreciate and applaud our nation’s volunteers this week, our volunteer services team wishes you a happy, safe and healthy Volunteer Appreciation Week. Thank you for staying home as an important measure to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our community. Most importantly, thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the SHN community.

Ajith Varghese

Manager, Spiritual and Religious Care

Spiritual and Religious Care wishes a happy Volunteer Week to all the SHN volunteers.

All of you add invaluable service and commitment to the excellent patient and family experience we provide at SHN.

Stay safe and happy. Thank you for everything you do for our hospital community.

More Messages of Thanks