How one NYGH volunteer is continuing to give back

April 27, 2020
A volunteer with donated personal protective equipment

Although the hospital looks a little different these days, particularly without blue smocks and warm smiles, during National Volunteer Week, NYGH took a moment to thank and appreciate our dedicated volunteers.

During these challenging times, we are seeing the best in people, from parents becoming teachers, grocery store clerks and truck drivers receiving the praise they deserve, to everyone on the front line. This list includes NYGH’s dedicated volunteers, and one in particular, Alen Niu, a grade 11 student. At only 16 years old, Alen recognized the need for health care workers at North York General to have personal protective equipment.

“I want the community to be aware of what doctors, nurses and health care workers have to go through on a daily basis during this time, and that there are ways to support them,” says Alen.

Alen took it upon himself to fundraise and order close to $8,000 worth of medical equipment to donate to NYGH. As a “partial representation of our community’s acknowledgment to the work the hospital does for our society,” says Alen.

He went a step further to continue fundraising and started on online fundraising campaign, to continue buying more supplies for all hospitals in need around Canada.

“I was amazed to hear the amount of money and supplies donated, but I wasn’t surprised when I heard it was Alen,” says Sheri, Manager Volunteer Services. “He is always putting his best foot forward, and striving to be the best he can be.”

After seeing the impact of COVID-19 on our hospitals, and knowing health care workers are risking their lives while being away from their families to help the people of Canada, Alen immediately felt compelled to help in hopes to encourage other members of our community to rise up.

“As a Canadian, I cannot stand idle,” says Alen. “Although this was a great first run, since the spread of this pandemic hasn’t stopped yet, I won’t stop helping our community and health care workers.”

Thank you Alen and all of our amazing volunteers who have found ways to continue to contribute to the hospital and support our staff, physicians and learners. We miss all of our volunteers and look forward to their presence and service at NYGH in the future.