Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph's Care Group

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Celebrating Volunteering at St. Joseph's Care Group

Date: 2021-04-20

Celebrating Volunteering at St. Joseph's Care Group

National Volunteer Week is celebrated every April to commemorate and highlight the importance of volunteers in Canada. At St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG), volunteers contribute in so many ways. Did you know that:

  • Volunteers enhance the care provided by staff.
  • SJCG’s Board of Directors are all volunteers.
  • Client and Family Partners are volunteers who are involved in organizational planning and decision-making activities, including hiring panels for leadership and management positions.

Our Volunteer Services Coordinators work with individuals to find the perfect volunteer fit.

Our Highest Volunteer Honour

Established last year, a committee consisting of both volunteers and staff members selects a volunteer to receive the ‘Sister Dolores Turgeon Volunteer Mission Award’. This award recognizes someone who has made an outstanding contribution, exceeded expectations and consistently demonstrated the values of Care, Compassion and Commitment in voluntary service to SJCG.

We are pleased to announce that Sylvia Kayzer is the 2021 recipient of the Sister Dolores Turgeon Volunteer Mission Award.

After retiring from teaching in 1995, Sylvia was recruited to volunteer with the Auxiliary to St. Joseph’s Care Group. “I became very passionate about the Auxiliary and the work that they were doing,” says Sylvia. “I loved planning fundraisers for the Auxiliary, and I was so proud of the teamwork that we had in order to achieve success. Their dedication was so infectious.”

Her successes in organizing and planning with the Auxiliary made her an excellent fit for positions of leadership, such as, Auxiliary President, Auxiliary and Foundation representative on St. Joseph’s Care Group’s Board of Directors, President of St. Joseph’s Foundation of Thunder Bay’s Board of Directors, and, member of Volunteer Services Advisory Committee. As well, Sylvia has led several major fundraising campaigns for St. Joseph’s Foundation.

But it’s Sylvia’s work with residents that is closest to her heart. For many years, Sylvia has been a familiar and friendly face at Hogarth Riverview Manor (HRM). Besides helping at special events or whenever needed, Sylvia currently has two very important volunteer roles at HRM:

Sylvia’s first - and main - role is supporting the spiritual needs of residents at HRM. She leads a group of dedicated volunteers from St. Agnes Church to provide Catholic services for residents every Friday. Their group organizes the entire service from music selections to readings and helps porter residents to the chapel to attend. Sylvia is also a Eucharistic Minister and can provide Communion at a resident’s beside if they are not able to attend the service.

Her second volunteer position is as a hospice volunteer at HRM providing end-of-life support to residents, their family and friends. Sylvia received special training with Hospice Northwest to fulfill this important role. “Imagine the power of a single visit with a resident. That visit could turn an empty day into one filled with hope,” says Sylvia. “And it works both ways. The resident may be uplifted by my visit, and I step away with a happy heart knowing that I made a difference in somebody else’s life. And isn’t that what it’s all about?”

She is always finding new opportunities to make a difference. When in-person visiting and events were curtailed due to COVID, Sylvia promptly coordinated a group of parishioners at St. Agnes Church to regularly send greeting cards to brighten the day of HRM residents.

“Sylvia is a great leader,” remarked Anna Grenier, Coordinator, Volunteer Services at HRM. “If you ask her to do something, it will be done to perfection, and even better than you imagined. She's a friendly volunteer and a true ambassador for St. Joseph’s Care Group’s values of compassion, care and commitment.”

“[Volunteering] is a way to show gratitude for all the blessings in your own life,” says Sylvia Kayzer, who marks her 25th anniversary of volunteering with SJCG this year. “It’s very fulfilling.”

If you are interested in volunteering with St. Joseph’s Care Group, please visit our Volunteer Services section for more information.


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