Volunteers key in delivering health and hope

AstraZeneca volunteers helping pack Humanitarian Medical Kits April 13, 2016. AstraZeneca tied Baxter as the company that gave the most employee volunteer hours in 2015.

Volunteers play a big role in Health Partners International of Canada’s (HPIC) mission of delivering health and hope. All the people who take Humanitarian Medical Kits to provide primary and specialized care to vulnerable communities are volunteers and all the people who pack them are volunteers. Not only that- the kits are topped up with Izzy Dolls, which are knitted or crocheted by volunteers.

HPIC also benefits from office volunteers and professionals who donate their time and expertise to help the organization.

It is National Volunteer Week and a great time to acknowledge and celebrate HPIC’s volunteers.

“Our volunteers are a great bunch of people who really ‘get’ what we do,” says Nanette Hoogsteen, HPIC’s volunteer coordinator. “I would like to say a big thank you!”

Nanette says that if you added up all the hours donated by volunteers to pack medicines, it would come to 1363 hours or a value of $15,600 if you paid the Ontario minimum wage for those hours.

Over a third of the volunteer time was given by employees of the following pharmaceutical and healthcare companies: AstraZeneca, Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Alcon Canada, UCB Canada, LEO Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, and IMS Brogan.

Other volunteers came from the local community as well as Rotaract, the Oakville Blades hockey team and Monarch Park Collegiate.

During 43 volunteer packing days, volunteers packed 450 Humanitarian Medical Kits or enough medicine to provide over 100,000 people with medical treatment.

Some other cool things that Nanette noted about our volunteer program over the last year:
• Our volunteers ranged in age from 16 to 99 years old (Yes, you read that right!)
• We celebrated five volunteers who have been with us for over 10 years
• Our younger volunteers were eager to learn and were interested in the logistics and challenges of nonprofit work in the developing world
• Our new distribution centre is completely accessible so we look forward to including people with disabilities on our teams during volunteer days
• We welcomed two volunteers with disabilities and made accommodations for a student with dyslexia
• We had two volunteer training days that were highly attended and successful