Better together

January 16, 2019
This couple makes a big difference in our Family Room at Health Sciences North by volunteering together.
Claire and Henry
Henry and Claire Fournier’s family and friends know they can’t make plans with the couple on Mondays. That’s because the retirees dedicate that day to volunteering at two places, one of them being the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto Family Room at Health Sciences North (HSN).

The RMHC Toronto Family Room at HSN supports families with children in the Paediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care units at the Sudbury hospital.

The Fourniers started volunteering at the Family Room on its opening day more than two years ago and have kept up their commitment ever since.

“Volunteering at the Family Room to help other families has become a meaningful part of our lives and we’ve always done it together,” says Henry.

Claire and Henry enjoy being a listening ear for family members who need it.

“When people feel the need to talk to someone, we are there to listen,” says Henry.

“One grandfather told us the Family Room was more than just a place to get a coffee or watch TV. He got emotional and said, ‘thank God for this room.’ One mother wrote in our guest book, ‘you never know you need a place like this until you need a place like this.’ Testimonials such as these motivate us to continue our work,” says Claire.

The Family Room at HSN supported 339 families from Northeastern Ontario in 2018.

Corinne Gagne, Family Room Coordinator at HSN, says the Fourniers support goes beyond their volunteer time.

“Claire and Henry play a major role in bringing forward essential funding opportunities.”

Recently, Claire talked about the RMHC Toronto Wish List with a local bank employee who then organized a holiday fundraiser. With the help of the community, the bank branch collected $400 worth of the Family Room’s wish list items.

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“We are proud to be part of the RMHC Toronto Family Room team and continue to promote it to everybody we meet. The feedback we receive is always positive, which is encouraging,” says Claire.

Claire and Henry’s dedication and support makes a big difference for all the families who use the Family Room. They show us that we are always better together.

Approximately 60 volunteers are needed to support the Family Rooms in each of the five hospitals where they operate. Learn more about becoming a volunteer.