What it means to be a HELP Volunteer

Topics: Community Health, Volunteer
by Courtney Wilson, Canadian Red Cross volunteer | May 28, 2013

The Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) provides Canadians with short-term loans of health equipment on a donation basis. The program relies heavily on dedicated volunteers to provide this service in the community. One of these enthusiastic volunteers, Graeme Belyea, discusses his time volunteering with the HELP program and why he believes it is such a great cause.

Graeme started volunteering for HELP in early December at the Edmonton HELP location. His decision to join the Canadian Red Cross volunteer team came after he accessed HELP with his mother. She was using HELP’s services after undergoing hip replacement surgery.

Having just finished his exams, Graeme thought that he would have some time over the holidays to start volunteering.

“I understood the Red Cross to be a highly respectable organization, since it has done so much for millions of people all over the world,” Graeme says.

In his first few weeks with the program, Graeme has started to learn how to use the computer systems and how to take care of inventory. Not only does he enjoy the work he does, but he also has a high level of respect for all of the other volunteers and employees that he works with.

Graeme believes that HELP is a critical Red Cross program. He says that the volunteers and employees work hard to make the program a success. “With the number of people having hip and knee surgeries on the rise, I can only imagine that the need for HELP will only increase over the years,” he says.

Volunteering for HELP has not only taught Graeme a lot about himself, but also how to interact with customers on a professional level. Personally, Graeme says that HELP has been crucial to his mother’s recuperation and recovery.

“Seeing how much my mom needs this equipment every day, and for the months to come as she recovers, just proves to me once more how important HELP is,” Graeme explains.

HELP has volunteer positions in:

  • Customer service
  • Inventory management
  • Equipment cleaning and repair
  • Program leadership

Find out more about Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities and our Health Services in Canada.