Salome did not come to her volunteer role at Sunbeam in a way that one would expect. While out for a walk one day, Salome saw one of Sunbeam’s clients, Joy, all alone on the trail and thought it strange. She ran to see if help was needed, and then saw an overturned wheelchair and heard someone calling for help. That someone was a Sunbeam worker who was caring for another client, Melissa, who had been thrown from her chair. Salome and the worker were able to carry Melissa back to her chair, which had previously been carried up the embankment by two other passersby. This is definitely the most “movie worthy” volunteer recruitment story in Sunbeam’s vault!
Melissa was so grateful for the help that she insisted Salome come visit at the centre. Salome quickly became enamoured with the people at Sunbeam Centre, and was invited to become a volunteer. After moving through the process, including getting a police check (they found nothing!), she began her career volunteering with Sunbeam. Over the past 8 years, she has built relationships with many people. She spends time during her shifts doing arts and crafts, braiding and fixing hair, and throwing a ball with her dog, Growler, who is also a frequent visitor. Salome enjoys having individuals visit her family farm, and had one person supported by Sunbeam, Rosy, volunteer in her quilt shop, folding fabric.
While Salome certainly had a positive impact on the people at Sunbeam, they are not the only ones who have benefited. Salome had been feeling quite depressed prior to becoming involved with Sunbeam, and credits the clients with helping to bring her out of that shell. They care for one another, and have built up a beautiful community together. They interact like family; touching, joking, supporting one another. Salome and those she works alongside agree that this is not just a home. While the staff at Sunbeam are wonderful, they are there to fill very practical needs. Volunteers like Salome serve as visitors; gentle presences, caring friends, and familiar faces. It is a community filled with good people doing good work. And that’s no joke.
Thank you to all of our volunteers! If you have a great story about volunteering with Sunbeam Centre, please share it with us on our Facebook page. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved and volunteer, start here.
Note: This story was originally highlighted in our 2016-17 Annual report.