Volunteers are crucial in so many aspects of care given by Canuck Place. These cheerful faces are often seen inside the hospice assisting families, the clinical team, office staff, and the kitchen, as well as outside in the gardens, and with the recreation therapy team. Every day they are here, but they would not be without the compassion they hold in their hearts.
Last year, a giving army of over 300 volunteers donated 23,000 hours of service with Canuck Place. Karolina Durda is one such amazing volunteer, who has been helping children and their families at Canuck Place for two years. She typically starts her volunteer days bright and ready to go at 9am.
As a volunteer, Karolina does see the struggles that the children and families go through, but she also sees the triumphs and the joy. “It’s such a remarkable thing to watch how a situation that can be interpreted as so sad in many ways is also a blessing,” she said.
While helping the kids and children, Karolina has found a greater appreciation for life and living in the moment. “These kids are remarkable and they will always surprise you. I really feel like they leave a bigger impression on us as volunteers, than we do on them.”
Karolina also made note of how Canuck Place provides a home for families in every sense of the word. “This is always a safe and welcoming space,” Karolina noted. “From the structure of the building, to the staff, to the nurses and doctors, and down to the volunteers; they all build a foundation for the hospice to function in a way that makes Canuck Place happy, safe, warm, secure, and not sad, scary or daunting. The way a home should feel!”
When asked to describe her role at Canuck Place, Karolina simply said, “to be a friend to the kids.”
Thank you Karolina for your compassionate heart!