Paul’s purpose

September 27, 2018
Paul pays it forwards by helping other families with seriously ill children as a volunteer at the RMHC Toronto Family Rooms at Rouge Valley Centenary.
Paul McCue
Paul McCue volunteers on what he thinks is one of the most interesting shifts at the RMHC Toronto Family Rooms at Rouge Valley Centenary

Paul likes working Mondays because that means he gets to celebrate the statutory holidays with families who have children being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) and Pediatrics units at the hospital. It reminds him of his own experiences after his son’s birth 44 years ago.

“When my son was born, he needed open-heart surgery and was treated for other heart problems, so my family spent two months at the hospital.”

Since then, Paul has supported many health-related causes. As an avid bike rider, he recently rode coast to coast to coast across Canada for charity.

For years, Paul captained on tandem bicycles for the visually impaired but due to knee problems the doctors advised he had to stop. He moved onto volunteering for the Family Rooms to help other families like his.

“I can’t remove the worry, but I can help people relax and look forward instead of looking down. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does it’s beautiful,” says Paul.

As a retiree, Paul says volunteering gives him a sense of purpose.

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“I recently saw a father with a newborn in NICU taking care of his wife. When he didn’t have anything to do, he appeared so worried. So I invited him into the Family Room for a cup of tea. Seeing him relax a little made my day.”

Paul knows first-hand how creating a welcoming atmosphere in the Family Room can go a long way.

“My family could have used a Family Room like these ones 44 years ago. There were very long days.”

RMHC Toronto appreciates our volunteers like Paul, whose warmth and compassion creates a welcoming and comforting environment for the families we serve.

The Family Rooms at Rouge Valley Centenary are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. The sleep room is open 24 hours a day.

Learn more about volunteering with RMHC Toronto Family Rooms at rmhctoronto.ca/volunteer.