Canada’s Governor General Awards Caring Canadians at SickKids
By Samantha Sexton
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) was honoured to host His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston yesterday as he awarded 19 deserving recipients the prestigious Caring Canadian Award for volunteer service.
Created in 1995, the award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to create a smarter and more caring Canada. Dr. Michael Apkon spoke to the importance of volunteerism as he welcomed the Governor General and the award recipients to the Daniels Hollywood Theatre, “here at SickKids, volunteers are an integral part of our team. Their compassion and generous contribution of time makes a difference in the lives of our patients, their families and our staff.”
This year’s recipients from across Canada included SickKids’s medical resident Dr. Alia Dharamsi whose volunteer work has taken her from Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver, where she assisted children and their families in palliative care, to rural Guatemala, where she led a group of volunteers teaching oral hygiene. She is also the creator of We Are 2015, an educational initiative geared at a new generation of global citizens committed to achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.
Governor General Johnston encouraged others to be inspired by the work of this year’s recipients, “this award is not just a symbol, it’s also an opportunity. Encourage your friends, your neighbours, your family and complete strangers to give alongside with you. When you do, when we all give back, we are creating a smarter, more caring nation - one which we can all be proud of.