“The Volunteer” – Epilogue.

I worked as a volunteer in the Crisis Intervention Unit at Toronto East General Hospital for about 2-1/2 years and experienced many situations however, one particular phone call was (fortunately) a very uncommon occurrence.

The letter (below) which I received a few days later summed it up really well.1979 CIU TEGHFor anybody experiencing difficulty with the handwriting:

Dec 3/79

Dear Colin,

What a phone call Bell referred to you! You handled it very well and are numbered among the few crisis workers who can say β€œI made the difference in a person’s living or dying.”

I know from your notes that you are often peeved about things in the emerg and CIU. I agree with most of your complaints and suggestions. Same are being worked on. I hope the reality of this particular call will give you the patience to keep working for us.


Jean Chatterson


10 thoughts on ““The Volunteer” – Epilogue.

    • Thx Deb. Volunteering is a wonderful thing (in any field) and, based on my various volunteering experiences, one is always appreciated. The organizers are well aware that it is simply your choice to work for them. This is (again in my experiences) vastly different from paying jobs where expectations are clear and situations taken advantage of on a regular basis. Even good workmanship in a paid job often generates “That’s what you are paid to do.”. In volunteerism, they simply give you a huge thank you (and probably a volunteer appreciation dinner once a year!). πŸ™‚


      • That’s great, Colin. I volunteer for the SPCA but they’ve only called once to thank us — and the other time when we’d forgotten it was our week to clean the litter boxes, πŸ™‚ Guess it depends on the organization, and local admin. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sadly true. An organization that depends so heavily on voluntary support has serious problems if it fails to recognize the efforts being made and, after all, what does it “cost” to say “Thank you”? Perhaps you should mention it to the “decision makers ” at SPCA. They may be assuming that the “appreciation aspects” are being taken care of and would welcome your input? πŸ™‚


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