Volunteering ‘makes you feel like you made a difference in someone’s day’

Carrie MacKenzie says volunteering at Afton Park Place has been a win-win for herself and the residents
4/10/2019  - Deron Hamel
Carrie MacKenzie stands outside the Afton Park Place gift shop where she volunteers.  

Carrie MacKenzie says volunteering at Afton Park Place is not only an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, it’s also rewarding.

“If someone told me that they were thinking of volunteering at a long-term care home, I would tell them it is a rewarding experience, as I usually leave with a smile on my face,” Carrie tells S&R Today.

“It makes you feel like you made a difference in someone’s day. It may be as simple as complimenting the ladies’ nail polish or talking to the gentlemen about the sunshine and being outside to enjoy (it).”

Carrie started volunteering at the Sarnia long-term care community in May 2018. She was searching for an opportunity to do something meaningful and helpful to others.

Her daughter works in the Afton Park Place life enrichment department and suggested Carrie consider applying for a volunteer position.

It so happened Afton Park Place was looking for a volunteer to work in its gift shop. Today, Carrie volunteers in the gift shop once a week and also helps with special events, such as the annual car show and Christmas bake sale. 

“My favourite part of volunteering at the home is seeing the regular residents come to visit me,” Carrie says. “The gift shop is something that most residents look forward to. A few times when I arrive, there are many familiar faces waiting for me.

“Some don't even purchase anything, they just come in to say hi and tell me about their days.”

April 7-13 is National Volunteer Week 2019. The week is marked by events nationwide that celebrate volunteers and all they do to enrich the lives of others. This year marks the 78th National Volunteer Week.

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