This summer, ARCH Hospice has had many student volunteers help out with everyday chores and responsibilities while on their summer vacation. One of the students, Kelsey Mackin, has been lending a hand in a more unique way — keeping the front and back gardens looking beautiful.
“I’ve been volunteering at ARCH for a little over a month. I started in the middle of June and have been volunteering every Thursday and Friday afternoon,” she said. “I spend most of my days out in the gardens. I spend my time watering all the plants and flowers, weeding, cleaning up the grounds and making them look neat and tidy. On rainy days I’m still able to volunteer by assisting with phone calls to recent donors, and thanking them for their contributions to ARCH.”
The 20-year-old university student has been admiring the work that ARCH does for the community, and wanted to be a part of that as well.
“I’ve been wanting to volunteer at ARCH ever since starting my undergrad and becoming aware of the importance of palliative care establishments in our communities. ARCH continues to do so much amazing work that has made a positive impact on people, families and the community of Sault Ste Marie. I have always wanted to be a part of an organization that is able to make a difference in the lives of others,” she said.
Mackin says that what she looks forward to the most every day is making connections with the staff and other volunteers.
“They are all kind and caring individuals, always willing to lend a hand. From my first day at ARCH they have welcomed me with open arms and have really made me feel like I am a part of their team. I also love to be able to volunteer outside. The back gardens are a very peaceful place to work,” she said.
“This volunteer opportunity has been very fulfilling. Ever since the start of COVID-19 I wanted to take action and assist my community during these very fearful and uncertain times. It has been so rewarding to provide a helping hand to the ARCH staff members who work so hard to care for individuals and families going through difficult times,” she said. “I try to jump at any opportunity to make a working day for an ARCH employee a little bit easier in any way.”
“Volunteering has been such a positive experience. The services that ARCH provides are so vital to the community of Sault Ste Marie and it has been such a privilege to be able to see first-hand the positive differences they are able to make. I hope to be able to come back as a volunteer next summer and also when I’m home for my holidays,” Mackin said.
Mackin will be heading into her third year at The University of Western Ontario this fall, where she eventually hopes to earn a Bachelor’s degree in health science. In the future, she has goals to complete a Master’s degree, and then work as an occupational therapist.
“I have been interested in the field of rehabilitation science ever since I started university and have made that the main focus of my undergraduate degree,” she said. “Wherever I end up in my future, I hope to be doing positive work that is able to influence and improve an individual’s quality of life.”
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