"We are important"

July 20, 2016
Indra finds her work at our Family Room rewarding. We are looking for more volunteers like her for the second Family Room at Credit Valley Hospital, opening soon.
Saraiva family in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Credit Valley Hospital

When volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto Family Room at Credit Valley Hospital, Indra Persad-Garcia knows that her work is being appreciated.

“Families are always giving us great feedback and thanking us for our time,” says Indra about families like the Saraivas, above. “Moms have said to me, ‘If it wasn’t for the Family Room, I don’t know how I would get through.’”

Indra Persad-Garcia

The RMHC Toronto Family Room at Credit Valley serves families whose babies are being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Located just steps from the NICU, volunteers like Indra are ready and waiting to chat and make a cup of tea for stressed new parents.

Indra, who recently went back to school for medical office administration, is “everything a volunteer should be,” says Adrian Fellows, Family Room coordinator. “She is one the nicest people you will ever meet.”

Indra’s kindness and empathy are true assets to her role, and as someone who has spent significant time at hospitals with sick family and friends, she sees the value in what the Family Room offers families.

“If you don’t live near the hospital, it can be very difficult to go back and forth,” she says. “One family I met lived more than an hour away and didn’t realize that we had sleep rooms available. When they found out they could stay over, rest, and be there for their baby the next morning without having to battle traffic to get home, they were so grateful.”

These interactions are what motivate Indra to return to the Family Room each week. It’s a feeling shared by her fellow volunteers: “We all tell each other stories reinforcing that we are important.”

This September, a second Family Room is opening at Credit Valley and we’re on the hunt for volunteers. If you’d like to give back like Indra, consider applying. Learn more here.

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