June is our month for roses. There are new blooms every few weeks, but not in the abundance found at this time of first blossoming. The hospital has a rose garden that is maintained in part by volunteers. The ground is carefully mulched and covered in the winter to protect the many plants, and they are carefully pruned each year. Drip hoses wind around the bases of the bushes to give the perfect amount of water. The results are beautiful!
It is a place of peace and comfort for patients and families to visit. I can add a walk to the rose garden as part of someone's therapy program. Staff can take their breaks on the benches and enjoy the fragrant air and lovely view.
Patients come to our facility for rehabilitation, or for palliative care. Their stays are often extended, and while they receive good care from the staff, it is the extras like this that are provided by volunteers that are special.
Many extra activities would not happen without the free services offered by those in our community, from the sing songs, recreational activities, to the tuck shop and gift shop operation.
Mom arranged for me to become a "candy striper" youth volunteer at a Toronto hospital when I was a young teenager. I would deliver newspapers and snacks to patients and help the staff with errands. There is no doubt that this experience was one of several that led me to a career in health care. Our high schools now require students to perform forty hours of community service before graduation.
These roses remind me of people who give the gift of time to enrich the lives of others.