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Best Day Ever: Volunteering from the Heart

May 19, 2017

Harv Phandal-Dhanda is a generous supporter of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Not only is she a member of the Canuck Place Gift of Time Gala committee, she also volunteers weekly in the Canuck Place kitchen.

For her, she’s never had a bad day while at Canuck Place. Each volunteer shift has been her Best Day Ever.

“Every time I come in, even if it’s a sad day because somebody’s passed away or someone has received some bad news, we just get on with it and you feel really secure in being able to be part of something bigger,” she explains. “I could come in on a day where I’m having a really bad day and I forget everything. It’s my happy place. The place that I come, and I contribute, and I feel good.”

“I think the Best Day Ever is any time [Canuck Place cook] Dawn let’s me stir the soup … Or any time I get to make cookies, or any time I put a smile on anyone’s face.”
Canuck Place volunteer Harv in the kitchen

 

Harv was first introduced to Canuck Place by a friend. She took her first tour and was overwhelmed with emotion.

“It was a combination of sadness and serenity,” she says. “I couldn’t believe that a place could provide so much comfort, relief, and joy through such a tragic time.”

She immediately knew that she needed to support these families and the mission of Canuck Place.

“I was filled with gratitude that Canuck Place existed,” she says. “I wanted to, in any way that I could, unburden some of these parents and help them in any way possible because I felt so connected and filled with gratitude.”

Harv soon not only joined the gala committee, contributing to an annual event that has raised almost $10 million in 13 years, she also signed up to volunteer in the Canuck Place kitchen.

While her work with the gala is important to her, she feels like her biggest impact comes from her hands-on work in the house.

“You don’t realize how much of a difference the little things make in people’s lives,” she says. “Whether I’m making coffee, or making someone a sandwich, or maybe I’m wiping a table down, it’s the little things that really add up to big things.”

She sees her fellow volunteers and kitchen staff as a family, and his constantly amazed at the genuine compassion on display by everyone she comes across at the house.

“Everyone stops and drops whatever they’re doing and prioritizes comfort and care for the families and the kids. And that isn’t something that people are taught. I think people inherently possess those qualities. They are there to make a difference in lives. That’s pretty amazing to me.”

You can support volunteers at Canuck Place. Donate today.

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