Mitch has been a volunteer at Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan house for almost three years and has become a favourite of staff members, volunteers and members alike.
Starting in high school as a way to fulfil his volunteer requirement, Mitch quickly proved himself indispensable, staying on long after his hours were completed.
“Wellspring is a great place to volunteer,” he says. “Not only are the people here very kind to all the volunteers, but you get enough opportunity to help out and really make a difference in people’s lives.”
Mitch originally chose Wellspring because of the organization’s mission to help those with cancer and their families through peer-support, educational resources and programming. He saw a direct connection between Wellspring’s mandate and his own family history.
“My grandmother went through a health scare and used services similar to Wellspring,” he says. “She talked about the stress and anxiety of going through illness, and how supportive care helped her to push through it. I think of this as a way to honour her.”
Centre manager Susy Borges-Santos is more than willing to sing Mitch’s praises. “He is just an amazing young man,” she says. “No job has ever been too big or too small for Mitch; he’s always ready to take on a challenge and give extra when he can.”
Mitch helps out around the centre by setting up rooms for programs, preparing for events, and performing housekeeping activities such as cleaning, doing dishes and taking out the trash.
“The centre is so busy day-to-day that we find we really rely on student volunteers to help with some of the housekeeping,” Susy says. “This frees the staff and peer-support and front-desk volunteers to focus on programming and helping members.”
Spending so much time in the centre, Mitch has seen firsthand the effect that Wellspring has on members. “Members really seem to enjoy the company of other members and the people who help them,” he says. “I see a lot really great friendships and connections. When someone comes to Wellspring, they know that they are really cared for and about by and that the people here are willing to do anything they can to help.”