Our Volunteers

Meet Kidney Foundation volunteer Hamza JafriHamza Jafri


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
After obtaining a Master of Public Health degree, I was actively seeking a well respected platform where I could apply my public health skills for effectively addressing health issues of multi cultural communities. I was encouraged to learn that The Kidney Foundation offered a number of highly creative and innovative projects for patients living with chronic kidney disease. This motivated me to reach out to The Kidney Foundation and apply to volunteer with the Foundation.

Why do you choose to volunteer in this way?
From my past public health experience, I have learned the importance of building rapport and connecting with the community. The Kidney Foundation provided me an opportunity of further developing my communication and cultural competency skills while interacting with diverse communities within the GTA area.

Tell us about your most memorable experience volunteering? 
My most memorable experience was while interacting with elders in a community centre during one of my health presentations. I was amazed by their knowledge on chronic kidney disease and the quality of questions that I got the opportunity to answer. The love and respect I received in return was flabbergasting.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer at The Kidney Foundation?
The Kidney Foundation of Canada is a national health charity and has helped improve the quality of lives of innumerable families affected by chronic kidney disease. Volunteering with such an organization is a privilege. Besides gaining invaluable experience, there is an opportunity of developing several vital skills for both personal and professional grooming.

What are your current volunteer roles with The Kidney Foundation?
I volunteer at Health Fairs, conduct Kidney Health presentations and assist with Patient and health care professional needs assessments.

Meet volunteer Pauline CernigojPauline, Andy and great niece

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
I first became involved with the Kidney Foundation 27 years ago when I was approached and asked to be the secretary for our local chapter. 

Why do you choose to volunteer in this way?
I volunteer with The Kidney Connect Peer Support Program and help facilitate Kidney Connect meetings in my community; the monthly meetings suit my schedule. I was impressed with the Living with Kidney Disease Patient Manual that I received when I first became a patient so I wanted to help and to learn more about The Kidney Foundation. This was a convenient way because at that time I was busy as a full time mom and on hemodialysis 3 times per week and at the meetings I was able to learn about what the Kidney Foundation did!

Tell us about your most memorable experience volunteering? 
My most memorable experience was as a Peer Support Volunteer when I was matched up with a pre-dialysis patient who was extremely afraid of starting dialysis. Through several conversations this individual was able to name their fears and together we were able to come up with strategies for coping. I remember feeling proud of my peer for being able to open up about such profoundly private feelings and also honoured that these feelings were shared.  

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer at The Kidney Foundation?
First off, volunteering is rewarding in and of itself. The Kidney Foundation offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities that can be short term from selling tickets, helping out at an event, to longer time commitments such as participating on committees, preparing for the Kidney Walk, assisting with the March Dive door to door canvassing, etc. It’s both rewarding and fun to help. Many friendships have resulted from volunteering! 

But the best reason is twofold: funds raised go to help improve the lives and health of kidney patients for TODAY and for TOMORROW! Research funded by The Kidney Foundation has directly resulted in significant improvements in the health of renal patients. So dollars raised go to fund future improvements and also to helping us live with kidney disease today.  The Kidney Foundation offers and continues to develop ways to provide support to patients and their families/caregivers to help us manage our health as we live day to day with renal disease. I believe that ‘many hands make light work’ but I would like to add that ‘many hands contribute to successful work’.  Volunteers working together and with The Kidney Foundation of Canada employees contribute to an organization that makes a difference. A win-win for everyone! 

What are your current volunteer roles with The Kidney Foundation?
I am currently helping with our Kidney Connect Support Group, our individual Peer Support Program and I volunteer with the annual Kidney Walk.   

Meet Judith Hamilton
Judith Hamilton

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
I had been retired for about a year and woke up one morning realizing the idleness  and slow pace I’d settled into was not good….I’d didn’t need to relax, I needed to be productive.  So, I went to a Volunteer Website and found the Kidney Foundation needed a volunteer for back office work and thought this was an area I could contribute instantly. From the first day I liked  the office environment and felt a real  ‘fit’ for me. 

Why do you choose to volunteer in this way?
I enjoy the camaraderie of an office and one which I had missed since retiring. The opportunity to contribute and be a part of team is very important and rewarding.  

Tell us about your most memorable experience volunteering?
I feel good about everyday I’m in The Kidney Foundation office, spending time with such a talented and dedicated group of people, but a non-office experience comes to mind. I worked at the Toronto Kidney Walk registration area where I met many families affected by kidney disease, those who the foundation supports directly…stories of the challenges with dialysis, joy of successful transplant and hopes for a cure in the future.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer at The Kidney Foundation?
The culture of the foundation embraces volunteers – supports their skills and efforts and appreciates their contributions.

What are your current volunteer roles with The Kidney Foundation?
Primarily, I do back-office administration work for March Drive and Kidney Walks.

Jessie ChungJessie Chung

鍾思晴

I am currently a Grade 10 Student enrolled in St. Robert Catholic High School’s Pre-IB Program. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I initially gained exposure to The Kidney Foundation’s Chinese Renal Association (CRA) through the Albert Au 2014 Toronto Concert, during which I worked alongside other passionate volunteers. It was once said that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As a high school student, I have adopted this saying as a personal philosophy. I am ceaselessly propelled by this philosophy to lead and inspire change by giving back to the community. Furthermore, I am a highly motivated individual, yet I recognize that I am also the most recent addition to the CRA. As so, I hope to acquire a vast number of new skills in order to expand my mind and to nurture my continual growth as a “leader of tomorrow”.

Ontario Branch - 1599 Hurontario Street, Suite 201, Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1 - Tel.: (905) 278-3003 / 1-800-387-4474
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001