Volunteer Spotlight – John and Donna Core

John and Donna Core share ready smiles and a passion for giving back to the community they have called home for seventeen years.

Originally a dairy farmer, John, a graduate of the University of Guelph, was CEO of the Canadian Dairy Commission before retiring in 2012.   He is a member of the board of Agricorp, a provincial agency that delivers risk management programs and services to the agriculture sector, as well as serving as Chair of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.  John always looked for ways to contribute locally and decided to use his governance skills and interest in health care to join the Board of Directors for Guelph General Hospital (GGH). In his nine years volunteering on the board, John says he enjoyed learning how the health care system works, lending his governance ideas to the board table, and serving as Chair for two years. For the last two years, he has been a board member of the Foundation of GGH.

In 1996, Donna, a former nurse, became interested and trained in Therapeutic Touch® and began offering it as a volunteer on the palliative care ward in her local hospital. She has been actively practising in Guelph since 2003 at Hospice Wellington and in the GGH Chemotherapy Clinic.  Therapeutic Touch® is a complementary modality used to reduce anxiety, relieve pain, increase circulation, improve sleep, and promote healing.

Both John and Donna add to their considerable volunteer roles by taking on jobs for the Foundation’s Black Tie Bingo, Tour de Guelph, and other special events that benefit GGH.  They also make a financial contribution to the Foundation every year through the Circle of Life campaign.

The Cores agree that giving back and serving others is rewarding.  GGH is a primary focus for them because “Everyone uses it, and if we want it to be the best, we need to support it.”  John wants to remind people that all equipment used in the direct care of patients at Guelph General Hospital is funded by the community — CT scanner, X-ray machines, vital signs monitors,  beds, and the MRI machine are just a few of the items  funded by donors — and the money comes from regular people just like the Cores.  Donna encourages all Guelph residents to give directly to the hospital.  “Imagine what we could accomplish if everyone made a contribution – small or large.”

John sums up his thoughts this way. “There is always an opportunity to volunteer. The amount of time you commit or the amount of money you give isn’t important – every hour and every dollar enhances our community.”