Doing Well By Doing Good

Penelope has been a dedicated volunteer with TBRHSC for many years. Currently, as a Wayfinding Volunteer, she is the first point of contact in the building for outpatients and care partners. She provides a friendly greeting and assists with information and directions for those coming into our Hospital.

Volunteering is the act of performing purposeful helping activities without the expectation of money in return. It aims to provide service to individuals or the community in order to create a positive impact. Volunteering includes a variety of opportunities, catering to various interests and passions from educational initiatives that ignite minds, to active participation that strengthens communities. Beyond the joy of providing a service, volunteering also includes health and well-being benefits.

Currently, there are 167 active volunteers in the Volunteer Services department at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and the program continues to grow. Volunteers provide administrative and clinical support, greet patients and families, and assist with patient care across various departments including Wayfinding and Information, Hospital Elder Life Program, Cancer Centre, Adult Mental Health, Endoscopy, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Surgical Day Care and more.

Volunteering is a powerful act that not only benefits the recipients of the service, but also enriches the lives of the volunteers themselves. According to a number of research studies, volunteering can have a positive impact on mental well-being and can help reduce depression and stress. By dedicating your time to helping others, you may be able to unlock a sense of purpose and accomplishment that boosts self-confidence and nurtures a positive self-image. Furthermore, the connections formed while volunteering foster empathy, compassion, and a deep sense of belonging, adding an extra layer of fulfillment to your life. It’s an activity that can help to uplift spirits, and enhance emotional well-being and mental health.

Not only does volunteer work warm the heart, it also fuels the body with a multitude of physical health benefits. By actively participating in volunteer activities, you can embark on a rewarding journey that encourages physical activity and movement. Whether it’s engaging in community projects, organizing events, or lending a helping hand, volunteering will often keep you on your toes and help to promote an active lifestyle. This increased physical activity helps to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

Many volunteers at our Hospital have found the experience of doing for others rewarding. From helping seniors in our community during their stay, to connecting with patients if they are lonely or advocating on a patient’s behalf, individuals who engage in volunteer work have the opportunity to warm their hearts, nourish their minds, and invigorate their bodies, creating a potential positive ripple effect that extends beyond the act of service itself.

Prevention and Screening Clinical Services at TBRHSC recently hosted a virtual Healthy Get-Together on the topic of volunteering. Staff from Volunteer Services and current volunteers at TBRHSC shared their experiences about the benefits and information about the various volunteer opportunities within the Hospital.

The Healthy Get-Together provides information about chronic disease prevention strategies and healthy living in a fun and engaging way. These sessions are held bi-monthly and feature guest speakers from our Hospital staff or community experts. To view this and other past Healthy Get-Together sessions, visit

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at our Hospital, visit