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Volunteers in Richmond make our world go round

Vancouver Coastal Health Richmond volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year to improve the lives of our patients, residents and clients.
In our continuing celebration of National Volunteer Week, April 12 to 18, we’d like to showcase the efforts of a handful of dedicated individuals who — like the hundreds of others across VCH Richmond — work tirelessly and share a common commitment to care.

Hermanie Chiong

Since April 2013, Hermanie has provided 145 hours of voluntary service primarily as a navigator at Richmond Hospital and as the designer of the Auxiliary’s newsletter. Hermanie will be moving to England this summer to attend Oxford University where she will study Jurisprudence, leading to her Bachelor of Law.

In Hermanie’s own words:

“As a student, it’s easy to become detached from society; our daily life revolves around our peers and we rarely look beyond the walls of our classrooms. We sometimes take for granted the community we live in because we are so used to being in our own social bubble. Two hours per week may not seem like a significant amount of time, but with each second well-spent volunteering, we gain a little more experience and knowledge. Volunteering has led me to gain some realistic insight into my chosen path and has better defined my future goals. I would like to thank Richmond Hospital for giving me a chance to contribute to our society, as well as providing me with a supportive environment in which I could expand my horizons. Thank you for this priceless experience.”

Samantha Li & Alice Man

About a year ago, high school students Samantha Li and Alice Man decided to blend their passions of music and volunteerism together to entertain; first at Minoru Residence and now at Lions Park.
Samantha plays the piano while Alice accompanies her either on the flute or as a duet partner on the piano.  Samantha says having an appreciative, non-judgmental audience is less stressful than being judged during music competitions and that their concert experience has been “really cool.”
Appreciative audience members describe the pair’s musicality as “wonderful and emotional.”
The girls agree that their concerts have been a nice release from the busy school schedule. Thank you, both, for volunteering and sharing your love of music with the tenants at Lions Park and residents at Minoru.

Betty Biro & Connie Vassallo

Betty Biro is best known as “Betty the Baker.” Her first six years of volunteering took place at Richmond Hospital, in the former long term care building. In 1994, when Minoru Residence opened, Betty began volunteering there, and started her involvement with Recreation Therapy’s Thursday afternoon baking program.
In 2004, Betty introduced us to Connie Vassallo and the pair continues to bake together and socialize with the residents. Their skills result in wonderful, home-baked aromas filling the air, and tasty treats for the residents to enjoy.  A recipe book that includes many of the pair’s favorites was created and is available in the Minoru Residence Tuck shop.
A heartfelt thank you to all VCH Richmond’s wonderful and dedicated volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you!
SOURCE: Volunteers in Richmond make our world go round ( )
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