A cancer battle was the catalyst for Miriam Gauci to begin her volunteer journey. During chemotherapy, Miriam was visited by a friendly pastoral care worker whose companionship she enjoyed.
“I thought, ‘I could do that’,” Miriam said. “I wanted to give back to the community and help people less fortunate than myself.”
May 17-23 is National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers
Miriam began volunteering at VMCH’s St Bernadette’s Aged Care Residence in 2018 in a pastoral care role, chatting with residents each week. However, a return of her cancer in 2019 meant she could no longer visit the home.
Undeterred, Miriam signed up to volunteer with VMCH’s TeleFriend program, where volunteers make weekly calls to people supported by various VMCH services.
Each week, Miriam calls Ellen, who cares for her husband.
“I just listen to how she’s feeling and be supportive of her,” Miriam, 64, says. “Ellen said the other day, ‘I’ve never met you, but my husband and I love you like a daughter’, so that was nice.”
Despite her health issues and her role as a carer for her 96-year-old mother, Miriam’s motivation for volunteering never wavers.
“I could decide to sit here and mope and feel sorry for myself but I get more strength to get through my issues when I’m helping other people.”
We think you are an incredible lady Miriam. Thank you for your ongoing service to VMCH and the people we support.