Giving the gift of time through volunteering opens the door to opportunity, and invites feelings of purpose and connectivity. But what if you are limited in the number of hours or the manner in which you are able to give the gift of volunteer service?

Kimberly Quam, Manager of Volunteer Workforce at Parkridge Centre, realized that the needs of the residents, families, staff and the community were not always being met through the current structure of the volunteer programs within Parkridge Centre. With the support of the staff liaisons from Therapeutic Recreation, Community Day Program and the Resident Computer program, Parkridge has changed that volunteer structure, and have come up with some very creative ways to better recruit, screen and support a quality volunteer placement within long term care.

 Kimberly Quam, Manager Volunteer Workforce Parkridge Centre

Kimberly Quam, Manager of Volunteer Workforce at Parkridge Centre.

Quam realized that greater flexibility and increased opportunity needed to be established if she was going to increase the presence of volunteers and community partnerships within Parkridge Centre.

“It is about providing the right person with the right opportunity to give back to their community while meeting their own personal goals,” Quam noted. “We each have the capacity to change someone’s day, one moment at a time. What I’ve done is fine-tuned my screening and recruitment processes in order to effectively support volunteers in quality volunteer opportunities.”

People have less time to give, but have more skills, abilities and knowledge to share, so Quam knew she had to be creative in the way that she screens, orientates and supports volunteers at Parkridge.

The changes  have resulted in the increased recruitment of exceptional volunteers who are logging more hours of service each month and who are staying with their volunteer placements for a longer period of time.

For Parkridge centre, these changes have increased the visibility of volunteers, given the centre a greater sense of community, and has made the atmosphere a lot more fun for residents, staff and families.

The state of volunteerism with Parkridge Centre will continue to grow as extensive planning is underway for several larger scale programs including a barrier-free community garden.

If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering, please feel free to contact Kimberly Quam, Manager of Volunteer Workforce Parkridge Centre at 306-655-3865 or via email at Kimberly.quam@saskatoonhealthregion.ca.