Heather is one of our first Hospice volunteers for the child loss groups as a peer supporter for grieving parents. She is a retired teacher with the Toronto District School Board who is also on the executive of the Retired Teachers of Ontario.
In March 2009, she lost her 22 year old son Jonathon in a tragic car crash. He was the passenger. He was on life-support for 2 days, after which he donated his kidneys, lungs, liver and heart valves. Heather has become very involved with and volunteers for the Transplant community, bringing awareness and advocating organ donations.
To cope with her grief she sought out help first from Bereaved Families of Ontario, and then over 5 years ago from Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities. The peer support groups eased the pain of losing her son, so she took the training at SCHC to become a group facilitator herself. She wanted to help others as she had been helped.
She has been doing one-to-one counselling and facilitating child loss groups for the past 5 years and finds it healing herself all while helping others to heal from the pain of losing a child. In her words, “It is very gratifying to see the members of the groups sharing and bonding with each other and finally being able to laugh together when all they had known since their loss was tears!”
She also is a huge Raptors’ fan!
Heather, we are forever thankful for your support to our bereaved families!
The cold winter months are approaching, and what a home-bound client needs is a warm and friendly visitor to cheer them up on a snowy cloudy day. That’s what SCHC’s Friendly Visiting Volunteer Deepak Malhotra does for three of our clients. Deepak started volunteering in October last year. Going with his calling to help seniors, he immediately opted to be matched. He misses his grandfather back in India, so while vising these clients he is able to do his duty, which he could not do for his own grandfather. In return, he receives their blessings, love and wisdom. He has also completed the training being a hospice volunteer and will soon be matched with a palliative client.
Deepak has held many jobs but believes, “this is one of the best jobs I could have. I thank the team of SCHC for giving me the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the community.”
He further adds, “I’m passionate about helping others. For me that passion is visiting elderly, spending quality time with them, listening to their stories, life experiences, above all getting their love, blessings and wisdom.
I feel empowered with all the tools, knowledge and training that SCHC has provided. It has not only helped me to be the person I am today but has also helped me make a difference in the lives of families I am visiting.
Thank you SCHC!”
SCHC has about 35 volunteers visiting isolated clients in their homes to help them out of their loneliness. This is one of our services geared towards maintaining seniors in their homes longer. Volunteers help us achieve that goal of supporting communities.