Our Volunteers

National Volunteer Week collage of volunteers at Kidney Walk events with Thank you text overlay

 

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer Alan

Alan volunteers with our Chinese Renal Association Chapter. Thank you, Alan!Seated volunteer smiling with blurred background, black hair and blue shirt, volunteer quote in blue box at the bottom.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?
As a social worker, I am always eager to reach out and help. I would like to reach out to people and assist them to navigate throughout healthcare system. It is also important to seek help as early as possible. Besides, kidney disease is a prevalent disease in our Chinese population, and it is seen as a silent killer. People would not notice they have kidney disease until the very late stage. The Chinese Renal Association (CRA) offers me an excellent platform to reach out to the Chinese population and achieve my personal goal.
It is also rewarding to receive positive comments from the community agencies and the general population.

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?
The Kidney Foundation and CRA conduct many activities and target difference populations. We have the SeeKD Clinic for the general population. It raises their awareness and promotes the education in the community. Our Chinese New Year event is a great activity for patients to have fun and be reminded of the quality of life. The Kidney Walks also allow everyone to gather together in one place and raise money for programs and research.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?
It is meaningful and fun. Also, everyone is very nice and supportive. We are like a family. We all share the same vision and values in our team.

What is your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
SeeKD Clinics: The number of people we reach out to every time always surprises me. It means people are aware of kidney disease and this is one way to get checked. It is also a one-stop service to speak with a nurse, dietitian, and doctor. I found it is crucial as it is difficult to find a Chinese-speaking dietitian without a proper referral.

Albert Au Concert: It was a lot of preparation and hard work, and it was done in a very short time. However, the amount that we raised from this event was tremendous. Everyone helped out at the event and it was coordinated really well.

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer Murray

Kidney Foundation Volunteer wearing baseball cap at podium speaking with quote overlaid at bottom

Murray volunteers with our Sarnia Chapter. Thank you, Murray!

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
When I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, I thought I would get involved with something directly related.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?
Before I became involved with The Foundation, my parents were involved as well!

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?
The impact of my volunteerism is something I don’t know how to measure. I just try to do my small part to help the big picture.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been involved with The Foundation’s board, as a Kidney Walk Committee chair, as a past volunteer board president for various fundraising events and an advocate for the Lion’s Club Camp Dorset.

What has been your most memorable experience volunteering?
My most memorable experience was volunteering at a Windsor fundraising festival event. I enjoyed the people, the food and drinks and the jobs I had to do.

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.   

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”.

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