A Salute to Youth

Dec 15, 2019 | Member Auxiliary Events

Youth Volunteers and Bursary Recipients Recognized:  Across our province, enthusiastic youth volunteers continue to make a difference.  The Auxiliary to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s Marilyn Goodwin, Candy Striper/Cadet Convenor, makes a bursary presentation to 2019 candidate, Sarah Neufeldt (top left), a first-year Bachelor of Science and Nursing student at The University of the Fraser Valley.  St. Bartholomew’s Health Care Auxiliary 2019 Bursary winner Alana Smith (top middle) at her June graduation.  The Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary awards a $1,000 scholarship to Volunteen Riley Ellis (top right), who is pursuing a career in the healthcare field.  The scholarship was renamed the Linda Steier Volunteen Scholarship in memory of Linda, a hard-working member of the Auxiliary for over 20 years who passed away in June and is missed every day.

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary youth volunteer (bottom left) helps decorate tables at the Health Care Centre.  Nicola Valley Health Care Auxiliary thanks their Thrift Shop summer staff (bottom right) Anthony, Janelle, Brodie, April, Alexia, Paige, and Bailey for their support and for giving the volunteers the break they deserve.


Words of Wisdom from a Young Volunteer

(Reprinted from Life in Sunshine, Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary newsletter, Summer, 2019, by Jacqui Jones-Cox)

Isurika Bandar, a 17-year-old grade 12 Chatelech Secondary School student and Auxiliary junior volunteer, is wise beyond her years as she has already experienced a life-changing event.  She says this occurred when she visited Sri Lanka with her family five years ago.  “My perspective suddenly changed.  I was exposed to an enriched culture that I could not remember before coming to Canada,” says Isurika, who was only a year old when her family immigrated to this country.  On one occasion, Isurika noticed an elderly woman in the gutter missing two limbs and it appeared that she was also blind.

“Seeing others suffering made me want to understand and learn more about the healthcare field in order to help others in need,” says Isurika.  She is a volunteer at Shorncliffe and Totem Lodges, is president of the Chatelech Interact Club, fundraises for Habitat for Humanity, volunteers at the library and is her school’s representative on the SD 46 Student Leadership Team.

“I know that the compassion that I developed during this trip motivated me to become a junior volunteer with the auxiliary.  It made me want to provide and assist the residents in my community.”  She does this well spending three to four hours per week at the Sechelt seniors’ residences.  Lisa Parry, Program Coordinator at Shorncliffe, says, “Isurika is an amazing volunteer.  She spends one-on-one time with the residents, doing crafts, reading to them, taking them out for walks, even doing their nails.  She also helps around the lodge, decorating for special events and gardening.  Isurika is very understanding for a young person.  She is so patient, stopping to listen, never rushing.”

It is evident that Isurika feels rewarded for her volunteer time.  She recalls one rainy afternoon when she and a resident, instead of walking in the garden, stayed inside to play scrabble.  “Little did I know that I would have the privilege of listening to her incredible stories.  It was fascinating to learn what life was like generations before.  After that day, we made it a weekly event to play scrabble and share stories.  These are some of my best moments of volunteering.”

This energetic teen plans on a career in medicine in the future.  “I will always cherish my memories of volunteering at Shorncliffe and Totem where I have learned to express compassion.  They will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

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