A Special Message to Our Volunteers
Published Thursday, April 29, 2021
Our hallways feel empty without you!
After almost 30 years of working closely with volunteers at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and its predecessors, your absence this past year underlines the stark changes we’ve all endured due to COVID. (I used to be able to tell the day of the week by which smiling volunteer was staffing the front Info Desk – now replaced by our COVID screening area). I literally get energized watching our volunteers buzzing in and out of our offices preparing for this event or that. If it’s even possible, I now have an even greater appreciation for the passion and joy and enthusiasm that you bring.
One of the many things we’ve had to sacrifice during this pandemic is seeing family. That’s the kind of ache I think we are all feeling for our volunteers. Many of you have become like family to all of us staff here at the Health Sciences Foundation. We are looking forward to the day when we can all meet again in our offices, at events, and at in-person volunteer appreciation days.
It won’t be soon enough, but we’re getting there! Vaccination rates going up and the number of infections going down in our region are encouraging signs. I want to let you know that plans are in the works at the Health Sciences Foundation now to get back to normal. As always, we will follow the recommendations of healthcare professionals here in Thunder Bay along with provincial guidelines. We want to ensure that all volunteers and participants at our events feel safe.
I want to send a special thank you to those volunteers who have been able to help us this past year. It has been a difficult time for everyone, and for you to still make the time to give to others is truly heartwarming. We’ve always said that healthcare waits for nothing – not even a pandemic. Despite COVID, our level of healthcare throughout Northwestern Ontario has improved thanks to your above-and-beyond dedication.
This National Volunteer Week, you are all in my thoughts more than ever. Thank you for all that you do for our patients – and will continue to do once we’re all back together again. You raise the funds, create the events, and carry the weight that ensures everyone has access to timely, world-class healthcare. Right here, right now.
President, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation