Inspiring hospital volunteers win community award during National Volunteer Week

A small but mighty group of Kingston volunteers is taking home a special award during the 2016 National Volunteer Week, recognition of their long commitment and inspirational presence at Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Receiving the Volunteers Grow Community Award from the United Way KFLA Volunteer Centre is the three-person strong team of Kelly Shannon, Ryan and Dawn , all adults with developmental disabilities who land weekly at Hotel Dieu to prepare patient information and education kits. In 2015 alone, the team helped to assemble more than 22,000 kits, and collectively they have logged close to 3000 volunteer hours over the last 12 years.

Putting together the multi-page information kits demands great attention to detail and steady teamwork, says Leona Sanders, the staff person who accompanies the trio from Ongwanada, the community organization that supports about 600 people with developmental disabilities in our region. 

Sanders coordinates her small team’s tasks each week.  “They always get the job done,” she says, “and they take huge pride in their work.”  As well, the volunteers brush up their social skills as they move through the hospital making deliveries or sharing a snack break with staff. 

Hotel Dieu treasures its relationship with the winning team, says Lynda Laird, Manager of Volunteer Resources, because each member is making a significant contribution to the hospital’s patients and staff while engaging in meaningful work and staying active.

“It’s clearly a win-win relationship,” she says. “Ryan, Dawn and Kelly love their volunteer work here and are beloved by staff and volunteers alike who look forward to seeing them each Thursday morning. 

“They inspire us all.  They’re unique individuals with some challenges, but with the right support and guidance they’re able to be incredibly successful in their volunteer work.  They remind us each week that we all have a contribution to make to our community—it’s just a matter of finding the right fit.”

The Ongwanada volunteers received their award at special City Hall ceremony on April 11 when the United Way KFLA Volunteer Centre honoured people in our region who generously give their time and spirit as volunteers in our community.

Photo:  A winning team:  HDH volunteers Ryan, Ongwanada staffer Leona Sanders, Kelly Shannon and Dawn

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