Volunteer Spotlight


Volunteers are vital to the success of our programs of March of Dimes Canada. ​Thousands of dedicated volunteers contribute tens of thousands of hours to help March of Dimes Canada every year, and we appreciate and acknowledge volunteers for all the amazing, incredible and hard work they do.  Read some of their stories and see why volunteers are such an essential part of who we are.​

 

 
Liam Tangney Volunteer Spotlight: August 2018


Name: Liam Tangney


Nominated by: Jordan Meron

Position Description: Fundraising Assistant

Age: 25

How long have you been an MODC Volunteer? 1 year

What is your favourite part about volunteering with MODC? 
The people that I volunteer with, and the fact that I get to give back to MODC for all the help they gave me in getting my job at Cineplex.

What’s your favourite season in Canada and why?
Summer! I love the warm weather, and being able to be outside often.

What’s a hidden talent that you have that the people at MODC may not know about?
I’m very good at analyzing sports games!

If you could have any meal in the world, what would you choose?
I would choose chicken fingers and fries!

A favorite place you have traveled to?
Buffalo, NY

Jordan Meron talks about why she nominated him as Volunteer Spotlight for this month:
 “Liam has done great work for our fundraising team! He has a great personality. He treats everyone with respect and kindness, no matter what the situation is. Liam manages “thank you” calls amazingly, even when there are times it can be quite stressful. The commitment he has to his role is something that has not gone unnoticed! He works very hard every time that he comes in, and does a fantastic job with the tasks he is given. We really appreciate everything that he has done for us; we are so lucky to have volunteers like Liam!”

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.


 
Alex Evans Volunteer Spotlight: July 2018


Name: Alex Evans


Nominated by: Maryam Iqbal

Volunteer Position: Supportive Communication Facilitator

Age: 24

How long have you been an MODC Volunteer? 
Almost 3 years

What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC? 
It is so fulfilling to be able to see the difference you can make in someone’s life just by being present. My favourite part is watching individuals grow more confident in themselves. I love helping out with the Aphasia and Communication Peer Support Group because it brightens any bad day, and I know it’s the highlight for their day as well.

A book you would recommend?
I am currently reading the Alice Network and I would recommend it to anyone who likes strong female characters, mystery, and historical fiction.

What is your go-to dessert?
Dark chocolate!

If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
I would like to be able to bend time – there are not enough hours in the day.

What is your favourite movie?  
If I had to pick one of my all-time favourites, Clue (1985).

Maryam Iqbal nominated Alex. Erica has added why they chose to nominate this volunteer.

“Alex, is truly committed to everything that she does. She really flourished and gained confidence throughout the time that she spent volunteering for the Aphasia Friendly Peer Support Group.”

She is very open to learning news things and is eager to take on new challenges.

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.


 
Catherine Chung  Volunteer Spotlight: June 2018


Name: Catherine Chung​


Nominated by: Tim McCrimmon​

Volunteer Position: Office Assistant​

What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC?
I really enjoy the team that I work with, and the setting of the work. I love the clerical work that I do, and feel a real sense of accomplishment from it. I also love the friends that I’ve met while I’ve been here.

What’s your favourite book?
My favorite book is a book that I read while I was a girl: Raggedy Ann

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would love to be able to cure or reverse Diabetes.

What is their go-to dessert?
All chocolate, mint, and coffee ice creams are my favorite dessert.

What is a recent movie you watched and what score would you give it out of 10?
I recently watched The Single Moms Club. I really enjoyed it and would give it 10/10!

We asked Tim why he nominated this volunteer.
Catherine, with her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to MODC could be considered the ideal volunteer. She is proud of what she contributes to MODC and assists across all programs. It would be hard to find another volunteer who has contributed so much to the organization with so much enjoyment.

How long have you been an MODC volunteer?
17.5 years.

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.


 
Jane Parsons Volunteer Spotlight: May 2018


Name: Jane Parsons


Nominated by: Devon Evershed​

Volunteer Position: Peers Fostering Hope – Peer Visitor

What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC?
I love to help others in their recovery

If you read – what’s a good book you would recommend?
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden, and The Marriage of Opposites – Alice Hoffman

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
This I struggled with as no one power would help everyone! But if I had to have one, it would be to cure any child illness

What is your go-to dessert?
Cheesecake and Rhubarb Pie

What is your favourite movie?
Sound of Music

We asked Devon why she nominated this volunteer?
Jane is in her fourth year of volunteering with the Peers Fostering Hope (PFH) program. As a hospital volunteer she visits new stroke survivors and provides much needed inspiration and hope. She is a reliable and dedicated volunteer, who speaks positively about the PFH program to potential new volunteers by explaining the impact the program has made on her life and the difference that she feels she is making with others. Her honest and open communication is helpful to the patients she visits and other volunteers, who benefit from her wisdom.

In 2017, she joined a pilot project for community visiting as part of the PFH program. In this pilot she was matched with two individuals. She provided emotional support, helped with goal setting, and helped with accessing programs, to support reintegration into the community after stroke. According to one individual she supported: “She talks about what she’s gone through and what’s worked for her—it helps me know what’s coming. It prepares me as I go through the process and makes me feel like I’m not the only one who’s been through this.” She has been very proactive not only in her efforts to support these individuals but also in providing updates on her matches and suggestions to those who were administering the program. Jane, along with other volunteers from the program, have addressed a gap in care for stroke survivors and provided support during a crucial time of transition from hospital to home. It has been wonderful having Jane give back as part of the Peers Fostering Hope program.

How long have you been an MODC volunteer?
4 Years

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.
 

 
Mark Ewer Volunteer Spotlight: April 2018


Name: Mark Ewer


Volunteer Position: DesignAbility® Chairperson – Hamilton/Halton branch​

What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC?
Using my creative energy to come up with creative solutions to help people live independently.

If you read – what’s a good book you would recommend?
“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Extreme intelligence/Creativity

What is your go-to dessert?
Chocolate Brownies

How long have you been an MODC volunteer?
15+ Years

We asked Elaine Darling (DesignAbility®) why she nominated Mark Ewer to be a spotlight for our blog.
Mark has a huge commitment to the program, he’s very creative, and dedicated to helping people. He is truly a reflection of our organization’s mission.

 

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.


 
Darlene Johnson Volunteer Spotlight: March 2018


Name: Darlene Johnson 

Volunteer Position: Communication Program Volunteer – ACDP Peterborough Site 

What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC? 
How the clients are so motivated to improve their own communication and how they support each other through the process. I look forward to volunteering at the Peterborough Aphasia program because they provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment for clients, caregivers and the volunteers. The staff set the tone and they are knowledgeable, skilled and demonstrate respect for each individual that they encounter.

What are 3 adjectives you would use to describe yourself?
Caring, Friendly, Respectful

What is your favorite hobby? 
Quilting 

What is your favorite TV show? 
Call the Midwife (because of a Nursing background) 

How long have you been an MODC volunteer? 
1.5 Years 

We asked Elisha and Sara why they nominated this volunteer. 
“Darlene’s positive nature, energy, and welcoming attitude deserve recognition! On top of her friendly personality, she displays kindness and concern for the well-being of our clients, supporting their strengths and encouraging them to develop new skills. As staff (and I’m sure clients feel the same) we’re very fortunate to have Darlene as part of our team.” Sara Piotrowska (Staff Partner)

Her patience and willingness to learn and use supportive communication strategies ensures that clients’ messages are expressed, all clients are engaged, and conversation is mutually beneficial. – Sara
​“The first thing that strikes me about Darlene is her caring and empathetic attitude in the program. She is genuinely interested in the clients and their well-being! She actively inquires about their lives and is always supportive of their interests. She is also very patient, allowing clients to respond in their own time and always encourages them to use the strategies to support their communication. It’s very evident how much the clients appreciate Darlene’s time and effort!”

​​​Elisha Nesci (Staff Partner) ​

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.


 
Lara Kaufman
Volunteer Spotlight: February 2018 


Name: Lara Kaufman 

Volunteer Position: Peers Fostering Hope Hospital Visitor 

What is their favorite part about volunteering with MODC? 
Inspiring the patients they see and giving them hope. 

What are 3 adjectives that they use to describe themselves? 
Outgoing, Persevering, Insightful. 

What is their favorite hobby? 
She loves to read. 

What is their favorite TV show? 
Outlander. 

Why are you nominating this volunteer?​
Stroke recovery is like climbing a mountain. It takes hard work, perseverance and patience. But the view from the top is spectacular. – Lara

Lara’s positive attitude and awareness of the challenges that someone goes through after experiencing a life changing event, enables her to really touch the hearts of the patients she visits at Toronto Rehab as part of Peers Fostering Hope (PFH). The individual Lara supports in the community as part of the Community Visiting pilot for PFH has taken steps to get out into the community more than she would have without Lara’s assistance.
​​
According to Paul Asselin, the Social Worker she reports to when she volunteers at Toronto Rehab, “Lara has made some terrific contributions and offered a lot of support to our patients over the years. I remember not long after she started here, one patient referred to her as an angel. She has received similar compliments such as: ‘Reassuring, good to hear it from someone who’s been there,’ ‘She gave me confidence.’ etc.

What strikes me about Lara in particular is that she finds the strength to come in, even when there are so many other things going on in her life. Through all of these life events, some good and some challenging, she manages to stay focused and present when she is visiting.”

Lara exemplifies what it means to be a PFH volunteer based on the feedback she receives from patients at the hospital. I would also support what Paul Asselin has said above. She is extremely dedicated even when she has a lot of other challenges going on in her life. She also is eager to get involved in new opportunities such as when she decided to be a part of the Community Visiting pilot. Outside of MODC she is involved in many other community projects. As a UHN Patient Partner, she has served on several committees, providing the patient perspective on various initiatives. She also co-founded with stroke survivor, Dr. Howard Rocket, Rocket Ride 4 Rehab in 2015. This static cycling event raises money for the Rocket Family Upper Extremity Clinic at Toronto Rehab. Lara is very deserving of recognition. She is also respected among her peers.

– Rebecca Phinnemore, PFH Coordinator

How long have they been an MODC volunteer?
Since 2014

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.


Joan Winter 
Volunteer Spotlight: January 2018

Name: Joan Winter

Volunteer Position: Chairperson and Peers Fostering Hope Volunteer 

How long have you been a MODC volunteer?
7 years 

What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC? 
Being able to express that there is always hope and that people need to be determined towards their recovery, which will be rewarded.

What are 3 adjectives use would use to describe yourself? 
Determined, dedicated and challenged. 

What is your favorite hobby? 
Grandchildren is number 1, Reading, and Toast Masters. 

What is your favorite TV show?
The Young and the Restless and Big Bang Theory 

Erica M. nominated Joan for a volunteer spotlight. Here is why she nominated her:
We have the pleasure of working with wonderful people who donate their time to this organization every day. I wanted to highlight Joan Winter as she is determined to beat the odds. She is her own advocate and works hard towards her recovery every single day. She doesn’t let disability become a barrier. She advocates for Tai-Chi and Toast Masters; two community programs that were instrumental in her recovery. These programs have given her both focus and balance. She doesn’t let stroke define her. She would say “that being the Chairperson for the Oshawa Stroke Support Group has made her stronger and has given her direction” she would also say that “if you think you can or can’t, you are right”.

In addition to being the Chairperson for the Oshawa Stroke Support group she is an active Peers Fostering Hope Volunteer, spending her free time giving hope to people who have newly experienced a stroke. Lastly, she also volunteers with the Living with Stroke program running it twice a year. She is truly remarkable and unstoppable! We want to thank Joan Winter for her time and positive energy towards helping other stroke survivors and caregivers realize that there is life after stroke.

​If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit MODC's Current Volunteer Opportunities page.​
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