Eleanor Harrison

Today’s #MondayMotivation is in honour of National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is a Canada-wide celebration to honour all those volunteers across Canada who give their time to help others or to help support a need within their community.

Our Monday Motivator Eleanor Harrison inspires us to give our time freely for the benefit of others in our own community. Eleanor has been a member of the Hospital’s Volunteer Association for 18 years now.

Years ago before Tim Horton’s was at the Hospital, Eleanor helped in the coffee shop that used to be in the main lobby. Eleanor had just retired from her career at Royal Bank. This volunteer role appealed to her because she enjoyed the customer interaction that was reminiscent of her role at the bank.

Over the years that followed, Eleanor has contributed in many other areas of the Hospital. It really is a long and impressive list! Eleanor has:

  • helped as a greeter in the Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department, helping patients settle in and offering a friendly smile and comfort to those who may be feeling a bit nervous or scared
  • had a similar role in the Emergency Department, in Day Surgery, and in the MRI Suite
  • helped, and still helps, with the Look Good Feel Better Program that helps patients who are undergoing chemotherapy maintain their self-esteem and dignity, and have a little fun too!
  • snuggled babies as part of a new program in the Hospital’s Special Care Nursery to help newborn babies who have been exposed to substance abuse
  • sold those fun instant win lottery tickets that you may have seen being sold on Level 3 of the Hospital

Eleanor also held the Volunteer’s Association’s President and Past President roles, providing leadership to 100s of the Hospital’s volunteers.

It’s no wonder she was the recipient of the Hospital’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award. But wait, there’s still more!

Eleanor has also been very involved with the Foundation over the years. She is always willing to volunteer to help out at events, ranging from Black Tie Bingo and Fore Our Hospital, to third-party events that others organize including the Unit 6 Haunted House (where she arrived in costume!)

And a very notable contribution to the Foundation was helping to create the connection between the Thanksgiving Day Races and the Foundation back in 2012, which has since led to thousands of dollars raised for our Hospital.

A common quality among many philanthropists is modesty.

When Eleanor was asked how she feels she makes a difference in other’s lives, she simply shrugged and said “I just try to help where I can.”

But we know that Eleanor has had a huge impact on many patients and families at Guelph General Hospital through everything she has given of herself. And for that we are truly thankful.

Today, and every day, our gratitude extends to all volunteers, past and present.

Community-minded and giving volunteers help us carry out our mission of saving lives and improving health, together with our community.