Our Volunteers

Volunteers are the roots of The Kidney Foundation. With support from members of the kidney community across Ontario, The Foundation is able to offer patient-services, educational materials, kidney health clinics, and host events that bring people together and fund research for the future of kidney care. If you would like to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation, check out the latest volunteer opportunities today.

Thank you, to our diverse community of volunteers across the province. The value of your time and efforts as a volunteer is undeniable.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those touched by kidney disease. 

Meet Sharri and Lewis,
Niagara District Chapter
Meet Lorri,
Brant County Chapter
Meet Joan, 
Chinese Renal Association
Meet Michelle, 
Windsor and District Chapter
Meet Marina, 
Northern Superior Chapter
Meet Erin, 
Sault Ste. Marie Chapter

Meet Ron,
Waterloo and Wellington District Chapter

Meet Sonia,
Brampton Chapter

Meet Rhonda, 
London and District Chapter

 

“There are few things in life that give more satisfaction than knowing that, as a volunteer, you have been able to make a positive impact on someone’s life and well being.”


-Greg Robbins,
Ontario Branch Volunteer President

Meet Sharri and Lewis


Niagara District


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
We originally got involved when we became members of the Kidney Connect peer support program.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?
Lewis: From the time my wife [Sharri] started dialysis, I wanted to do something to help people in the same situation. I would look around the room and see so many patients by themselves. I thought it would be great if I got a chance to talk with someone at the Kidney Foundation or the Niagara Health system that could help these people. I also wanted to encourage those who could to donate a kidney.
Sharri: I felt it important to pay it forward and help others since I was grateful to have had help from The Foundation when I need it. I want to be a part of helping people who are unsure of where their life is going and the things that may or may not happen to them along the way. Doctors and nurses are great but they cannot know how a patient feels unless they have been one.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?
Lewis: Volunteering can do wonders for kidney patients but also it helps yourself to heal.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering?
Sharri: I have had many wonderful experiences in every aspect of my volunteering but one moment, in particular, happened at a local support group meeting.
She was newly diagnosed and unsure of what would be happening in her life. I looked at her and saw myself six years ago when I was diagnosed. We spent a great deal of time talking during that meeting. At the end of the meeting, she got up to leave and hugged me, crying and thanking me for understanding and being kind. It was then that I realized, YES, this is exactly why I do this. It was definitely a moment that touched me. I left the meeting, got to my car and called my husband [Lewis] who is also involved in the support group. Crying, I told him it was a moment that I would never forget as it was confirmation that this was why I needed to be [at the meetings], for the one patient I might touch.

Meet Lorri


Brant County


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

My friend Elizabeth is a dialysis nurse. I began by helping at the patient Christmas party she organizes annually. When she took on the patient breakfast as a fundraiser I continued to volunteer there as well.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way? 
My hobby is photography. At the Christmas parties, I take photos of the patients and their families. The photos are given to the patients to keep and enjoy. I choose to volunteer in this way because I truly believe in the importance of having a record of happy events and people in our lives. I really enjoy taking pictures. So many of the patients love having family photos with Santa and Elvis.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?
The different ways to volunteer are endless. I volunteer as a secretary for the Brantford Chapter of The Kidney Foundation, as a volunteer photographer, at the annual Kidney Walk, with Kidney Clothes clothing drives at work, and promoting the Foundation and kidney health.

Meet Joan


Chinese Renal Association


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

I first got involved with the Kidney Foundation through my best friend who was a kidney patient and also a volunteer committee member of the Chinese Renal Association (CRA). I have a nursing background working as a maternity nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital. I started volunteering by running blood pressure clinics through the SeeKD program, held every year by the CRA in different communities across Toronto.
I also help with a number of fundraising events held by the CRA throughout the year such as the Chinese New Year Dinner, the Greenfield Golf Tournament, and the Kidney Walk. I’ve been volunteering for the CRA for over ten years now and my involvement is very rewarding as I am able to raise awareness and spread public knowledge of kidney disease.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?
I chose to volunteer for the Kidney Foundation through the influence of my best friend. My father was also a kidney patient who passed away over thirty years ago from kidney disease.
I admired and enjoyed working with a group of compassionate committee members and volunteers who dedicate their time and knowledge to making a difference to the community and make the public aware of kidney disease.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?
Kidney disease is a silent killer and people would not notice the signs unless they have regular checkups by their family doctor. I would like to encourage others to volunteer for the Foundation because it is a rewarding experience to help promote kidney health and make the public aware of kidney disease.
Volunteers for the Kidney Foundation also have an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with other people in the community. Through my many years of volunteering, I’ve made a lot of friends and developed relationships with patients, families, volunteers and healthcare professionals in the community. We are a support network for each other.

Meet Michelle


Windsor and District


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

I first became involved with The Kidney Foundation because I am a social worker at the local hospital in the renal department in Windsor/Essex. I experience how much assistance and support The Kidney Foundation provides to the patients, from education materials, peer support programs, camp opportunities and financial support for travel. Kidney disease is a condition that affects many but many people know little about.
I started volunteering by participating in various events that were a collaboration between the local Chapter of the Kidney Foundation and the hospital. Eventually, I moved to volunteering at events such as the Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event committee and sitting on the executive committee for the Windsor and Essex Chapter.

How does your volunteering impact our diverse kidney community?
Volunteering allows me to raise funds and bring important information that directly affects individuals with kidney disease and their loved ones who live in my community. There are many ways to volunteer with The Foundation that make volunteering fun, impactful and interesting.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
My most memorable experience is volunteering every year at the annual Christmas party. Seeing the joy on the patients’ faces while they are away from the treatment environment and sharing a meal with their families is rewarding.

Meet Marina


Northern Superior


How did you first get involved with the Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

Having had a kidney transplant in 1994, I felt that I had to give back in some way to the organization that was there to help me. I became involved in the Kidney Walk, then fundraising selling snacks. I felt that it was the best way to give back to the organization that helped me as well as ensure that there would be help for others in the future.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with the Kidney Foundation?
Because kidney disease seems to be affecting more and more people. I feel volunteering is a great way to help others and gain more knowledge of the disease.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
My most memorable experience is that of speaking at various schools over the years about the importance of registering as an organ donor as I was a recipient myself and knowing that I made an impact on those young people’s decision to be a donor.

Meet Erin



Sault Ste. Marie


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

I was encouraged by a family member to attend a paint night event. That has always been an activity that I have enjoyed. Proven to be a great stress reliever, as well as a great way to chat with your painting neighbours and get to know one another as people are at ease with one another.

How do you feel volunteering impacts our diverse kidney community?
There is always strength in numbers. The more volunteers, the more support, and the more word spreads. Those directly affected by kidney disease become directly impacted by The Foundation and the people behind it.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
At paint night, I spent some time with colleagues, families and some patients. It’s always special when people who wouldn’t know one another come together for a cause. Strength in numbers as they say. Sometimes the patient suffering from symptoms or anxiety related to symptoms can feel even a shred of comfort from seeing supporters at events. It’s imperative for those directly affected to know that they are not alone in the fight.

Meet Ron


Waterloo Wellington and District


Why did you choose to volunteer with The Foundation?
I have had kidney stones for most of my adult life and thought, ‘this really hits home’ and I should give back. I have been involved with the Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event, the Artilicious event, and on committees with The Foundation organizing and donating both funds and food.

How do you feel volunteering impacts our diverse kidney community?
Public awareness is a great start. When I explain to friends and business associates what our goal is, they get involved. It affects so many people and the more people we can touch with information and ways to give back, the better off we all will be. It’s a great cause with a large need and the events have a community mindset and are thoughtful and fun to be involved in.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
The most memorable experience was getting a kiss on the cheek from our Chief of Police at one of the fundraising events. Just seeing and meeting people from our communities that care and are doing something about it is very gratifying.

Meet Sonia


Brampton


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation?
My social worker at the Brampton Civic Hospital referred me to the Brampton Chapter of the Kidney Foundation. I have been involved in the hospital’s renal patient/family advisory council and also trained to volunteer as a peer support volunteer with The Kidney Foundation. My first meeting was six months after my transplant surgery.

How do you feel volunteering impacts our diverse kidney community?
I believe our experiences help impact those within the kidney community. Because of our experiences and stories we are able to relate to those in our community. Volunteering broadens your knowledge and helps us apply our skills properly in order to accomplish our goals as well as develop goals that apply to our community.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Foundation?
Volunteering with the Kidney Foundation is very satisfying and fulfilling when witnessing our goals succeed and the impact it has on the kidney community. We always need to find like-minded people who are enthusiastic and energetic. What we give we get in two-fold returned to us as volunteers.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
One year, at the Kidney Walk, I was one of the speakers and shared my story on stage. I am fearful of public speaking and felt I was rushing through and thought no one was listening. Afterward, I had several people come up to me to tell me how much they loved hearing my story. Even months to a year later people were telling me about how it impacted them. I then realized that I had reached more people than I originally thought and it was worth my jittery nerves.
The Walk is where I meet a lot of other patients and families from the community. We commiserate, share stories and most importantly, have fun and enjoy the day.

Meet Rhonda


London and District


How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
In my position as marketing director at the Westmount Shopping Centre, I work throughout the year with a variety of non-profit organizations. The Kidney Care Centre and the Kidney Foundation became tenants at the centre and I began to learn more information through that connection. Subsequently, a couple of relatives were diagnosed with kidney disease.

How do you feel volunteering impacts our diverse kidney community?
I hope that my volunteering helps in even a small way to bring awareness to the cause. I’ve learned [kidney disease] can affect anyone. Unfortunately, it seems if you’re affected by kidney disease in some way it is out of sight out of mind for the most part. We all need to help change this!
I would encourage someone to volunteer with The Foundation because it is an area that can affect anyone and needs more support in getting information out to bring more awareness.

What was your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
I think my most memorable experience was volunteering at the 2017 golf tournament. The guest speaker who described her kidney disease/transplant experience gave such an account of everything she went through with her family all there to support her. To meet others too, of all ages that day, who were also on their own kidney journey really made me realize how many were dealing with this disease and trying to live as normal a life as they could while trying to beat the clock for a transplant. Nobody should ever have to deal with that!

What do you think the #ValueofVolunteering is in the kidney community? 

Join with other Foundation volunteers online and share the #ValueOfVolunteering through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Ontario Branch - 1599 Hurontario Street, Suite 201, Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1 - Tel.: (905) 278-3003 / 1-800-387-4474
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001