From April 23-29, we are celebrating National Volunteer Week to highlight our amazing volunteers across the country who dedicate their time and efforts in helping others.

Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
Governor General David Johnston presented four Canadian Red Cross volunteers with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at a ceremony in Edmonton. /Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG
Canadian Red Cross volunteer Paula Green
His Excellency presents the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Paula Green. /Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG
Canadian Red Cross volunteer Robert Thomas Hamson
His Excellency presents the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Robert Thomas Hamson. /Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG
Canadian Red Cross volunteer Robert Chochinov
His Excellency presents the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Robert Chochinov. /Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG
Canadian Red Cross volunteer Dixie Lea Fenwick
His Excellency presents the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteer to Dixie Lea Fenwick. /Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG

The two interlacing hearts etched onto a medal awarded to four Canadian Red Cross volunteers are meant to evoke caring and generosity. And they are qualities that volunteers Robert Chochinov, Dixie Lea Fenwick, Paula Green and Robert Thomas Hamson have demonstrated time and again throughout their careers with the organization.

 
Governor General David Johnston presented the four with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at a ceremony in Edmonton in December 2016.  This prestigious national honour recognizes the dedication and commitment of Canadians and is the only one given by the Governor General of Canada as an honour for volunteerism.
 
A social worker by trade, Paula Green of Regina has been volunteering with the Red Cross for 10 years. She has used her skills and knowledge to assist in a variety of disaster responses.
 
“I was very honoured that the Red Cross put my name forward to receive this honour. At the same time, I am very humbled, as there are so many deserving volunteers that give many selfless hours to assist people affected by disasters,” she says.
 
Winnipegger Tom Hamson started volunteering with the Red Cross when he retired more than 15 years ago. He was particularly instrumental in setting up a call centre to facilitate the Syrian refugee coordination efforts.
 
Tom says his favourite aspect of volunteering is meeting new people, including other volunteers and clients of different cultural backgrounds, like the Syrian refugees. “We are dealing with First Nations, and in Manitoba, there are a lot of people that have come from different parts of the world.”
 
A dedicated volunteer for over four decades, Rob Chochinov, who is from Anola, Manitoba, has shown great enthusiasm in everything from assisting individuals affected by the 2016 Alberta wildfires to welcoming Syrian refugees to British Columbia.
 
For Rob, the most gratifying aspect of volunteering is the gratitude of families who have their needs met.
 
Calgarian Dixie Lea Fenwick has played a vital role in responding to large-scale disasters like the 2016 Alberta fires. She was honoured for her 15 years of service and her tireless dedication, which was displayed last year as she supported evacuees from Fort McMurray and mentored other volunteers and caseworkers.
 
Canadian Red Cross volunteers are making a difference in the lives of people every day.
It seems fitting to take a little extra time during National Volunteer Week to recognize the contributions of not only these four outstanding volunteers, but of all incredible Red Cross volunteers across Canada.
 
Red Cross volunteers come from many different regions, perform many different tasks and fill many different roles, and all contribute in a unique and meaningful way. They make everything we do, possible.
 
Are you interesting in becoming a Canadian Red Cross volunteer?
 
Find out what opportunities are available and of interest to you: redcross.ca/volunteer