Sunday, August 23, 2015

Volunteers and 'Good Samaritans'

Volunteer ~ an unpaid worker, one who enters into or performs
of his own free will...often for a charitable organization.
Samaritan” ~ a charitable or helpful person
(originally a member of people inhabiting Samaria in Biblical times).
Classified today, a “Good Samaritan” is a compassionate person who
unselfishly helps others, especially strangers.

Volunteers Keep the Games Moving
(Excerpts from Janie Ginsberg's writing ~ The Hamilton Spectator)

In between pilot lessons, working toward his advanced scuba diving certificate and helping in a medical clinic, 16-year old Armaan Krishnar volunteers for the Pan American Games in Hamilton. The high school student, who is part of the 'put-up-and-tear-down' crew, is one of 200 behind-the-scene members of 'Hamilton's Kick It Up' program, a group separate from TO2015 volunteers.
I think it's important to go out and do community events,” says Krishnar. It's a strong time for the city and I believe that it's something that everyone should get involved in.”
The volunteer program was created to generate enthusiasm around the city
and encourage visitors to stray from the soccer stadium lights...
and experience Hamilton's cultural side.

Janie Greensberg states, “About 52 % of Hamiltonians volunteer, which is above both the provincial (47% ) and the national (46%) averages. A good portion of volunteers for 'Kick It Up' are in the 16 to 20-year old range, with the highest demographic seniors!

Kick It Up members have different uniforms, accreditation and separate training from TO2015 volunteers. About 350 people applied, 250 were recruited and it dwindled to 200 active members by the time the games started.
Six Faces Behind the Games
Volunteer Suzanne Foreman was impressed by the training. “We even got 15 minutes of salsa lessons and 15 minutes of Spanish lessons.” As an ambassador, she spent her first day setting up a welcome centre in Gage Park. “It's basically meeting and greeting and answering questions and trying to represent Hamilton very well,” says the 53-year-old.
Ambassador Dave Strong, 48, said Hamiltonians should step up to the plate. “We need to do this now or it will pass us by and we will never be anything again. I'm overwhelmed by volunteering.” He spent time in Gore Park taking surveys as part of his role.
Allison Jones, 44, volunteers as an event assistant, a group of people who are 'front of the line' active engagement type folks. “ Something of this size coming to Hamilton is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Allison ~ who wants to set an example for her three sons. “I want them to see me being part of my community and how much you can get out of giving back”
Ann Rodgers, 38, works a lot of time with spreadsheets, updating shift changes and keeping track of new volunteers. “It brought me closer to my city; it's actually been a good thing: it has kept me busy and focused on positive things.”
Jodi Pomerleau, 56, on a street team, cleared tables, stacking chairs, helping out with cultural events, handing out uniforms and medals and picking up garbage. “It's a great opportunity being chosen.”

Approximately 65,000 people applied to volunteer for the TO2015 program,
a process that required an online application and video interview ~ 23,000 were chosen.

Rescue of Young Orca Was Mind-Blowing for Onlookers
Killer whale stranded on B.C. Rocks, nursed for hours ahead of rising tide”
(written by Terri Theodore...published in the Canadian Press)

Hartley Bay, B.C. ~ A killer whale, stuck on a tiny island off British Columbia's coast, was protected for eight hours by rescuers as they waited for the high tide to wash her off the rocks. Hermann Meuter, who runs a whale research facility neat Hartley Bay, said the tide was receding when rescuers reached the whale, and it was too dangerous to try to get her back into the water. Instead, they covered her with blankets and kept her cool and wet while waiting for higher water. “She was crying a bit, calling for her family, but she endured it.” Meuter was initially alone as he poured water from a bucket over the whale, but he couldn't keep up when the sun came up and some of the dozens of people who had gathered to watch, pitched in to help. “It was very stressful for the whale. Having her whole body weight lying on the rocks, her lungs were most likely squeezed a little bit.” Meuter said it didn't take the whale long to realize they were helping and she calmed down after the first hour.

Cam Hill, a band councillor from the Hartley Bay First Nation, said he was teaching a class when word came about the stranded whale; his group decided to check out the 'once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Hill commented, “The thing that really struck home with me was just how patient she was in waiting for the water to come up,” as he watched the operation from the rocks above. “The whale waited until she was fully floating...and then gently eased herself into a position where she could slip off the rocks and into the ocean. Once she moved herself off into the ocean, there was a triumphant yahoo from everybody involved. You could tell she was very happy to be gone ~ she just took off.”

Meuter has seen the whale and her transient pod before. The orca is known as T69E and is about 11 years old, he said. She made it back to her waiting pod relatively unscathed. “She had minor scratches on her tail from barnacles. There was a little bit of blood, but here were no major injuries.
The whale was lucky that someone spotted her
hung up is such a remote location and that help could arrive so quickly.
If she had been there for nine hours without water being poured onto her body,
there would have been a lot of stress on her, possibly with an inevitable result!”

To Volunteer or Not!
Mary, a senior with whom I frequently played bridge in local clubs enjoyed the camaraderie of friends around her. She appeared to be well-monied, drove a black Maxima, yearly enjoyed a week or 10-day cruise, always immaculately dressed and well groomed. Living alone in a sizeable apartment, she'd fill her lonely time with shopping (a passion for jewellery, clothes and shoes) plus gifts for her grandchildren. Being the 'people-person' she was, I suggested she volunteer with one or two organizations. Twice, I gave her lists from which to choose: visitation to senior residences, taking pets from animal shelters to nursing homes for invalids to pet, driving patients to the Red Cross or for medical appointments. She totally ignored these...I discovered that she herself, wanted the 'catering of attention'. Thus, our friendship continued; and later she moved north to be near her family.

And Some People...Nowadays...Simply Stand by...
(as illustrated by a cartoon in today's newspaper)
Six men, fully clothed, are standing onshore while a drowning man, his arm upright out of the water, calls, “HELP ME!!!”. All six men with Cell Telephones are busily shooting 'selfie photos' of themselves on the sandy beach. With lack of concern, no one moves to offer assistance!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written July 24, 2015
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  1. DILU WRITES: "i admire people who whole-heartedly volunteer day after day. I do, once a week and I get so much satisfaction and happiness. I am blessed that I'm able to do this, seeing joy in their faces when they see me coming. "My Hats Off to All the Volunteers of the World!"

  2. So many people, so understanding and so committed to 'serving others'...because some day in the future, these givers may be the recipients of care and understanding for them. Thanks, Dilu for your commitment to contribute to others in need.