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Get to Know a Volunteer: Corinne

During her free time, Corinne helps deliver groceries to older adults in the community. Before becoming a volunteer, Corinne already had a relationship with Circle of Care as a former staff member and felt that volunteering with Circle of Care was the next natural fit in her schedule.

Though this is her first volunteering position, she regularly participates in fundraising events throughout the year, including the Ride for Heart, Make-a-Wish Foundation, The CN Tower with United Way/WWF, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation Marathon, and RETHINK Breast Cancer.

Corinne also organized an event where she was able to raise $5,000 for the Shoebox Project and hosted a holiday party where attendees assembled 100 shoebox gifts. All the necessary supplies such as shampoo, conditioner, earbuds, warmers, socks, and more were provided at the event, and the gifts were donated to Maggies Toronto.

  1. What inspired you to begin volunteering for Circle of Care?

For some time now, I have been contemplating various volunteer positions – I have always been a very nurturing individual. Before the passing of one of my closest friends, I loved visiting her weekly, cooking gourmet meals, and planning themed parties for her by her bedside. After her passing I wanted to continue to provide care for someone in need.

I find that assisting someone with their grocery shopping is a straightforward and uncomplicated task that only requires a few hours of my time, yet it holds immeasurable value for the person seeking such aid.

  1. Has volunteering changed your outlook in any way?

My volunteer work has provided me with a renewed perspective on life. Those I encounter in my volunteer work have shown me how easily we take things for granted and how we often complain about minor issues, while others face far greater challenges.

My friend, the one I mentioned before who passed away, she had been paralyzed by a tumor for two years and kept getting different cancers over 8 years, yet she remained positive throughout her ordeal.

Similarly, the person I grocery shop for always wears a smile, never complains about their restrictive situation, and maintains a positive outlook on life. Their strength and resilience have inspired me to be more appreciative of what I have and to remain optimistic in the face of adversity.

  1. What’s one positive moment you remember at Circle of Care?

It’s the joy, positivity, and deep connection I experienced while volunteering with my assigned client. Our conversations were always lively and enjoyable, whether we were chatting on the phone or in person while delivering his groceries. I was delighted to discover how much my visits meant to him, and the feeling was mutual.

One day, he mentioned that his favourite wheelchair had been broken for some time, and he was using an alternative that he did not enjoy as much. When I relayed this information to the volunteer department, they permitted my boyfriend, who is a handyman, to take a look at it. My boyfriend was able to fix the problem, and my client was elated. He now makes it a point to say hello to my boyfriend every time we speak on the phone. It is moments like these that make volunteering so rewarding and fulfilling.

  1. What’s one advice you would give to another volunteer or potential volunteer?

If I were to offer advice to a potential volunteer, I would encourage them to stop overthinking and start taking action. I believe that volunteering can only bring positive outcomes, and if it doesn’t work out, at least they have tried. The longer someone spends contemplating whether or not to volunteer, the more mental space it occupies, when in reality, the time and effort required to volunteer are often minimal in comparison. Therefore, I would urge them to take the leap, get involved, and experience the many benefits that volunteering has to offer. Honestly, the amount of time spent on social media by many individuals can be converted into more valuable, positive time by volunteering, and it would lead to a better impact mentally as well.