“Sometimes I feel like I won the 6/49, the lottery,” says Cesare Stefanon in the newly-released documentary film about volunteering at Three Links Care Centre. “You feel happy because inside yourself you know that you did something good for other people.” That feeling of happiness has kept Cesare coming back to volunteer on a weekly basis since 1982.
The film follows a series of vignettes of volunteers, residents, and family members at Three Links. In one scene, we see Jason and Kay smelling flowers together in the gardens at Renfrew Park Community Centre. In another, Desmond warms Cissie’s cold hands at lunch time. “I wanted everyone to see these small but beautiful moments that happen between residents and volunteers,” says Liz Kendler, who coordinates the volunteer program. “These small gestures often go unnoticed, but they accumulate to create a truly wonderful atmosphere of generosity and friendship.”
Our volunteers bring the community inside our walls. For seniors whose illnesses prevent them from venturing out into their neighbourhoods, the presence of volunteers replaces isolation and loneliness with connection and friendship. It’s not just about warm fuzzy feelings – seniors who are socially connected are at a lower risk of everything from heart disease to falls. And like Kay says in the film, having volunteers around “is very interesting and good fun.” The documentary premiered at Three Links’ National Volunteer Week event on April 22. Volunteers, staff, residents, and family members gathered to watch the film and celebrate the tremendous contributions of our volunteer team.
The documentary film was produced by Paul Alberts, an experienced documentary filmmaker who wanted to volunteer his talents with an organization that was doing good in the community.