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!
Babitha's is a story of dedication and commitment, which could be a learning for any newcomer. She came to Canada in Aug 2016 and was volunteering with SCHC's programs by Oct 2016. A nurse by profession, Babitha shows compassion and willingness to learn and help in any way she can. Soon after arriving, she started the process for getting her nursing certification with College of Nurses Ontario and is expecting her license in a couple of months.
She started as volunteer assistant for Healthy Kitchen at the Hub, and thereafter has volunteered in the Adult Day program, Diabetes Reception area, Community Health Centre, and also helped conducting some hand-hygiene audits for us. She considers her volunteering at Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities as a lucky start, as after that she was never without a paid part-time job.
She speaks Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil fluently and understands Arabic, as she had also worked in an ICU in Oman. Always upgrading her skills, currently she is enrolled in McMaster University for a short course in Leadership and Management in Nursing.
This is how volunteering is mutually rewarding! Thanks Babitha.