Volunteers come to Hospice Calgary for a variety of reasons. Some are past clients or family members, while others are studying to enter the medical profession. Kanako Hiratsuka-Earle came to us following the death of her husband.
Kanako’s husband spent only 24 hours in hospice care, but in this short time Kanako came to realize that hospice staff are, ?cut from a different cloth?. Simply put, Kanako feels that those who work in hospices are angels.
A year after Kanako’s husband died, she decided she wanted to make some significant changes in her life. Kanako cut her work down to part-time and began to look for volunteer work. She stumbled across an ad looking for administration volunteers to work with Hospice Calgary. The volunteer role immediately jumped out at her :
?If I can volunteer somewhere and help out the angels ? I am in.?
Kanako has been volunteering with Hospice Calgary since 2014, and we are hoping to have her working with us for many years to come. She volunteers on reception every Monday, guides prospective families and patients through tours of Rosedale, and most recently did the voiceover work for our new telephone system.
Kanako’s work with families during her tours has been a huge asset for us. Her ability to understand and connect with the families is outstanding. Marie Wong, our Manager of Volunteer Services, has remarked that Kanako is :
?incredibly kind and genuine. She listens to what people have to say, and you can see people open up to her right in front of your eyes.?
It is quite ironic that the comments Kanako makes about the atmosphere at Rosedale Hospice are the same as what we say about working alongside her. Kanako is a pleasure to be around; she is peaceful and radiates positive energy. She is truly an angel herself.