Spring cleaning is underway at Chinook Regional Hospital (CRH) and more than a dozen Lethbridge-area volunteers answered the call to lend a hand.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) invited residents to take part in the annual event and instructed them to bring their gardening tools. Filomena Laporte-Packer, co-ordinator of Volunteer Services at CRH, says for the fifth year they were pleased with the response from the community.
“We really appreciate the support from the community that we get,” said Laporte-Packer. “Today what we’re doing is a spring cleanup around the hospital, in preparation for our planting day.”
The main focus on Friday was mulching flowerbeds and under trees around the facility, but volunteers will take on many beautification tasks over the two cleanup days, including tidying public areas, picking up garbage, raking and bagging leaves, sweeping gravel off sidewalks and paths, weeding, and painting and staining outdoor seating areas.
“It can make a really big difference for the people that work here and patients here, and it helps our maintenance crew as well,” said Laporte-Packer.
The mix of people lending a hand included a few who have volunteered at CRH for a number of years, like Bobbi Harvey.
The crew also included a few first-time volunteers, as well as student volunteers with AHS, aspiring to future careers in health care.
“I volunteer about 10 hours at the hospital each week,” said Zudari Walgama, a high school student. “I like being in a hospital setting. I’m in my senior year of high school and I plan on going to Lethbridge College for the nursing program.”
Dana Jackson, a post-secondary student, said any kind of experience volunteering around the hospital is valuable.
“I typically volunteer in pediatrics,” said Jackson, “I’m usually there about once a week.
“I’m in the Bachelor of Nursing right now, I’m third year… and this is a really great place to kind of experience it all.”
CHR is looking forward to the second day of spring cleaning — when flower beds will be prepared for planting — next Friday, May 3rd.