New Volunteers at The Lighthouse
Volunteers play a key role at the Lighthouse. Since March 2018, 25 new recruits have made the decision to come and give some of their time to Quebec’s first pediatric palliative care hospice, whether it is with children, for maintenance, administration or philanthropic development and communications.
What makes people volunteer at Lighthouse? The reasons are multiple. According to Réjeanne Beaucaire, who volunteers at the Lighthouse since May 2017, it is "the wish to contribute with a highly motivated team to bring comfort, smiles and joy to sick children and their parents", which led to her to get involved.
Pierre Gagnon, who comes to the Lighthouse since summer 2017, says: "I accompanied a girl with cerebral palsy and I felt the need to learn more about children with special needs."
And how do volunteers qualify their experience at the Lighthouse? "Powerful! I forget all my worries here! I see children who benefit from comfort care and I interact with the staff with whom I build meaningful relationships," says Pierre Gagnon.
"[Some] may not be able to speak, but they communicate. It's just about listening and being there to live the present moment with them. I understood that my role is simply to try to get in touch with them," says Anne-Marie Lemay, who volunteers at the Lighthouse since spring of 2018.
While volunteers come to lend a helping hand to the Lighthouse, many insist that volunteering also brings them a lot and teaches them more about themselves. "I developed even more openness and listening. I was feeding a child who often pushed away my hand when I brought the spoon to his lips. While listening and trying to understand his gesture, I put the spoon in his hand and helped him bring it to his mouth. That's what he wanted to tell me,” says Anne-Marie.
In all, 300 volunteers generously give their time to support families and children with life-threatening illnesses. Thanks to the volunteers for their precious involvement, the Lighthouse is blessed to be able to count on people who care!