A good neighbour to all

From Board member to baby cuddler, Betty knows how important it is to Neighbourgood.

Betty’s connection to Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) stretches back decades, having lived in East Toronto since she was five. She has volunteered at MGH for many years, helping patients at all stages of life – whether in our Palliative Care Unit or more recently as a baby cuddler.

“I have always believed you get back what you give,” says Betty. She’s certainly given a lot. She served four years as President of Volunteer Services at MGH, and is currently Co-Chair of the Volunteer Experience Council. She has also served as an ex officio member of MGH Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2019.

As someone so involved in her community, Betty knows the importance of the local hospital. “The hospital is in the hub of the community looking after the well-being of its neighbours. Hospital staff look after the medical needs of patients; volunteers bring smiles to patients by assisting in many ways.”

Being a good neighbour is more than just volunteering at the hospital. “Being a good neighbour means supporting businesses in your area, getting to know your neighbours and assisting when needed, connecting with people and giving back to the place you call home,” says Betty.

“Supporting my community gives my neighbourhood a ‘small-town feeling’. Living in East York is small-town living in the big city. MGH is truly the Heart of the East.”

While it may seem daunting, Betty knows that anyone is able to give back. “Follow your passions. Support in ways you feel comfortable, and be confident in what you are able to help with.”

For Betty, volunteering can come in different forms, and trying different things is part of the process. “During the time MGH’s volunteer program shut down last year, I assisted at the vaccine clinics organized by MGH and its partners. It was such a good feeling to assist in getting those jabs into arms! It’s also always a pleasure to help distribute donated meals to our healthcare workers at MGH. Even small things have helped, like encouraging neighbours to join in banging pots and pans to salute our frontline workers.”

Read more acts of Neighbourgood, and find out how you too can be a good neighbour.