FERGUS – Among the many volunteers in Wellington County, there are those who go beyond the call of duty to make a significant difference in others’ lives.
Amanda Farmaha of Fergus has been actively involved with the New to You second hand store and Groves Memorial Community Hospital’s ER department since March and August of 2022, respectively.
Though challenging, Farmaha manages to volunteer while completing her honours degree in psychology at Western University.
“During the pandemic, all the social distancing was a little bit overwhelming, and I really wanted to get involved. I’d recently moved to Fergus and had no idea what was going on in the community,” Farmaha said when asked what motivates her to volunteer.
“I wanted to have a sense of accomplishment and purpose in my community.”
New to You manager Clare Palmer said Farmaha is an outstanding volunteer, at both the store and the hospital.
“She has a great sense of community spirit and is helpful and supportive with our customers and other employees,” said Palmer.
“We have received numerous compliments and positive feedback from both customers and volunteers about Amanda. Her friendly, helpful, and caring personality are very hard not to notice.”
Despite starting out in a new town and being a self-described introvert, Farmaha has overcome social anxieties and put her skillset to use.
“At first, I didn’t think I had that many skills, but now I think transferable skills like communication and leadership play a big role in what I’m doing here as a cashier,” Farmaha said.
“It’s great to see regular customers come in with smiles on their faces and to help them locate items they’re looking for; just to have a quick one-on-one interaction with them is very rewarding.”
Farmaha hopes to pursue a career in the medical field and believes volunteering at Groves is a stepping stone that could help her achieve that goal.
“Volunteering at the hospital has been great as I’ve been able to see different career paths that I’m interested in – what I like and what I don’t, and how doctors, nurses and the lab workers operate on a daily basis,” she said.
Farmaha believes everyone should volunteer at least once in their lifetime.
“Regardless of how old you are, I think you should just try it out,” she said.
“Volunteering has been a great opportunity for me to meet new people and gain new skills and experiences.”
The Groves Hospital Volunteer Association celebrates volunteer appreciation week in April with numerous events.
This year it will be holding a volunteer appreciation lunch to recognize and acknowledge its volunteers. In addition, throughout the year it organizes summer barbecues and potluck lunches.