Day 46. Helping Others

A friend posted a wonderful Mohandas K. Gandhi quote on Facebook yesterday morning:  “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  It  made me think of the volunteer work I do; and how fortunate I am.

Every Tuesday you can find me, in my blue lab coat, at Mt. Sinai Hospital, in downtown Toronto.  With a program that includes about 1,000 volunteers, there is virtually no area of the hospital where you won’t find at least one of us.

We’re there seven days a week, even holidays.  We’re men and women.  Students, middle-aged and seniors.  Rich and poor. Canadians and immigrants.  Married, single, divorced and widowed/widowers.  We have families.  We have friends.  And some, have no one.  We’re in the pharmacies, labs, recovery rooms, waiting rooms, clinics, doctors’ offices, on every floor, in emergency, diagnostic imaging, and even at home, knitting warm hats for premature babies.  We’re visiting the elderly, feeding, filing, documenting, delivering, translating, organizing, making appointments, providing information, answering questions, giving directions and, mostly, assisting —  wherever, whenever and however we can.

What unites us, is why we’re there.  To help others.  To make strangers’ lives a little easier, a little better, a little less lonely, a little less frightening, a little less daunting; even if it’s just for a moment.  And by strangers I mean patients, families and staff.

I work mainly in an out-patient surgical recovery room, where patients come for minor surgery.  Typically they just need Continue reading