National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize our many dedicated volunteers and auxiliary members who generously share their skills and talents to support health care across our region. Learn more about three of our volunteers, whose kindness, empathy and compassion inspired the stories below.
(Photo) (From L-R) Volunteers Lori Goodwin, Jasmine Badesha, Carol Sallenback
Lori Goodwin, Chilliwack General Hospital
Lori has always had an unwavering commitment to volunteering and was involved with Chilliwack General Hospital’s Pet Therapy Program in 2018.
With the onset of COVID-19, she was one of the first volunteers back at the hospital lending a helping hand as a vaccination clinic and lab access volunteer.
She continues to dedicate at least 20 hours every week, supporting patients and families who need to visit the vaccination clinic.
“I help make sure that patients and their family members are in the right place, at the right time,” she says.
Providing a critically important support in a busy hospital setting gives Lori a sense of meaning and purpose in her volunteer role. “I can make a tangible difference in people’s lives.”
Beckie Evans, coordinator, Volunteer Resources at Chilliwack General Hospital has seen firsthand the impact Lori’s volunteerism has had at the site.
“Many community members want to come to our lab when Lori is working, and many times, I will overhear patients asking where she is,” she says.
When she’s not volunteering, Lori enjoys spending time with her two puppies, Bob and Pearl – both of which have their own YouTube channel – and exploring different parts of the world by cruise ship.
Jasmine Badesha, South Asian Health Institute (SAHI)
From a young age, Jasmine has been keen to address health issues unique to the South Asian community. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in Biology – a stepping stone to her eventual goal of medical school – she became inspired by the common mission of the South Asian Health Institute (SAHI), which is to improve the health and health outcomes of Fraser Health’s South Asian population.
“When the opportunity arose to work for SAHI as a Sehat wellness volunteer, it was a perfect fit,” she says.
SAHI’s Sehat Wellness Ambassador Program sends trained volunteers into South Asian community settings, like temples and gurdwaras, to provide information on health and well-being. Sehat means health in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu.
Through her role, Jasmine connects directly with community members through outreach shifts and health promotion activities. For example, she encourages individuals to seek supports and services in the region, and have open dialogue around substance use and mental health..
“Working alongside a SAHI program assistant and seeing the difference that the institute makes in the community is an incredibly rewarding experience.”
Outside of volunteering with SAHI, she is also the co-founder and president of a non-profit organization called ‘The Anaahat Project,’ which is an organization that provides local women with resources and education on topics of menstrual, sexual and reproductive health.
Through SAHI, Jasmine hopes to continue making a positive impact while tackling health disparities in her community.
“I understand the importance of evidence-based, culturally-sensitive practices when addressing health problems through outreach and research, both of which SAHI exemplifies.”
Carol Sallenback, Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary
Carol has been a consistent and well-known volunteer with the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary for over 35 years.
As the head of a long-standing fundraising group that specializes in the resale of fine china and gently used linens, her house would often be packed to the brim with donations being prepared for an upcoming sale.
“Community members knew exactly where to drop off those items,” she laughs.
The auxiliary sales that Carol spearheaded would regularly bring in thousands of dollars – funds which were then used to purchase medical equipment and patient comforts.
Over the course of the holiday season, Carol’s group would also purchase personalized gifts for local residents experiencing social isolation, or who were without the means to provide for themselves.
“Kind, caring and compassionate are just a few words that describe Carol. It is safe to say that she lives and breathes to serve others,” says Jenn Walker, manager, Volunteer Resources at Peace Arch Hospital.
Carol has also volunteered at the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store, and currently enjoys her role as a way-finder in the hospital.
“No matter how short the interaction, she makes a positive impression on people,” says Jenn.
Peace Arch Hospital and its Auxiliary are fortunate and proud to be on the receiving end of her positivity and generosity.
Interested in volunteering at Fraser Health? Learn about opportunities at fraserhealth.ca/volunteer.