Today, I volunteered to answer phones/ accept donations for the Stollery Radiothon. The Stollery Children’s Hospital is an amazing resource for sick children in our region and it is extremely important that this resource continue to be funded so research can continue and equipment purchased, which in turn allows the hospital to provide the best care possible for those who need it.
I readily admit, I hate the phone. With a passion. Rarely do I choose to communicate via the telephone. Text, sure. Email, yup. Facebook message, uh huh. Face to face, absolutely. But talking on the phone? Ugh. And then talking on the phone while other people are around me, able to hear every word I say? Double ugh. But getting outside my comfort zone, just a little, isn’t a bad thing.
I got to the hospital just before 2:30, parked, and headed over to the training area. We did a brief half hour training session, then we moved over to the phone area. I ended up at a table with 2 younger women (both attending the university and pretty much straight out of high school), and an older woman in retirement, so probably about 20 or so years older than myself. What a great variance of ages. When it was slow, we chatted with each other, sharing ideas and stories. I loved that these fresh faced young women, neither of whom are from Edmonton but rather smaller towns (one 2.5 hours away, another 4 hours away), were here giving their time to raise money for an important cause. The retired woman talk about how when she was deciding to retire, she felt the need to pursue volunteerism more. I liked this dynamic of different ages, conversing, and I felt, learning from each other. We made conversation easily and it was nice to feel like we were getting to know each other on a somewhat personal level. The older woman, asked if I’d be interested in another volunteer opportunity as she lives in the same town I do, so I asked for a few details and gave her my email so that she could send more my way. I told her I was open to all volunteer possibilities this year though and I made sure to let the Stollery volunteer coordinator know that I was interested in other opportunities/ events at which I could help.
I worked the phones for 3 hours. It wasn’t as busy as I expected to it to be, but people still called in to donate, and as I said, when it was slow, I was in good company. I was happy that I got to have this experience. And even if I do hate the phone, I will more than likely be back next year to help out again so long as my schedule at that time permits me to.