Pictured above: Candace Allman volunteers at CAMH’s Suits Me Fine clothing boutique.
By Patrick Callan, Communications Coordinator
Being a volunteer is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
CAMH’s volunteers share their time, energy and passions with patients across a range of programs at the hospital.
From our clothing boutique to our patient library; from participating in sporting activities to creative arts class, or through our corporate volunteers’ stream, our volunteers give—and get so much back.
And it’s not just people who volunteer at CAMH. We also have a very paw-pular pet therapy volunteer program.
So, what keeps our volunteers coming back week after week and year after year?
Here’s what a couple of them had to say.
“I like to see patients with smiles on their faces when they leave Suits Me Fine,” says Candace Allman, a volunteer at CAMH’s Suits Me Fine clothing boutique.
Candace started volunteering at CAMH 10 years ago after she was hospitalized for severe post-stroke depression with psychosis. She says she had a pervasive feeling of a lack of joy, so she decided to volunteer to help bring joy to patients’ lives.
“One of my favorite things is when I see patients help each other out,” she says.
Candace recalls seeing the kindness of strangers at Suits Me Fine on a very cold winter day. Not long after Candace gave a gentleman the last pair of mittens did a second gentleman arrive at the shop, also in dire need of mittens.
“I had seen him around the neighbourhood. I think he lived on the street. He held up his hands and they were bare,” she says. “The first fellow took a look at him and took the mittens right off his hands and gave them to him.”
Then, the first gentleman asked for a pair of socks so Candace went over to the box with socks to find some for him.
“Guess what we found in behind a pair of socks? Another pair of mittens! So we were able to give him mittens too,” she says. “It was so heartwarming to see somebody who had come in that was in need helping somebody else who they saw was in need.”