Celebrating VCH volunteers

4,800 volunteers. This past year, approximately 4,800 people spent their free time volunteering at VCH, and helping to promote better health in our communities.

As National Volunteer Week (April 23 – 29, 2017) approaches, it’s a great time to pause and celebrate the generous work of the VCH volunteers around us.

The diversity of volunteers

VCH volunteers represent a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. Some are students – as young as 19 years old – who are interested in exploring a career in health care. Others have been volunteering at VCH for over 50 years. VCH volunteers help out in numerous roles in many settings including community, public health, acute, and residential. What unites volunteers is their dedication to helping others. Five volunteers describe how volunteering adds meaning to their life.

Coastal region

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill

In her thank you letter to VCH Coastal volunteers, Karin Olson, VCH Coastal Chief Operating Officer, quotes the former British Primer Minister. Approximately 1,000 people have volunteered  for VCH this past year in the Coastal region. In communities in the North Shore, Sea-to-Sky, and the Sunshine Coast, volunteers have contributed in a variety of ways, from visiting patients to providing help with income taxes. This year, new volunteer positions include vigil volunteers and endoscopy department volunteers.

Many Coastal volunteers have been working for a long time, including Kaarina Moore, a 40-year volunteer with VCH, who started off as a play lady in the children’s ward at Lions Gate Hospital.


This past year, around 800 VCH Richmond volunteers spent over 70,000 hours supporting patients, residents, and clients. Some of their achievements include:

  • Welcoming 50,000 visitors at Richmond Hospital
  • Spending 2,175 hours to run the Tuck Shop at Minoru Residence
  • Making 11,000 ice packs and 4,200 hats for newborn babies at the Richmond Hospital maternity ward

Jennifer MacKenzie (Chief Operating Officer, VCH Richmond) writes a heart-felt thank you to VCH Richmond volunteers.


Laura Case and Vivian Eliopoulos, VCH Vancouver Chief Operating Officers, thank VCH Vancouver volunteers for their hard work. In this past year, VCH Vancouver had around 3,000 volunteers donating their time with 1,300 people currently volunteering. You can read about one special volunteer, Josephine Macdonald, who’s still going strong at 93. She started off running a soup kitchen for outpatients, and now visits patients weekly in the palliative care unit.

Thank a volunteer

Volunteers play an essential role in our health care system. This April, take a moment to thank a VCH volunteer you know!


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