Spotlight on a Give a Mile Volunteer – Stacey Lazarenko
Give A Mile is fortunate to have many amazing volunteers. In fact, we are run 100 % by volunteers! It is our privilege to be able to provide a spotlight on our volunteer group, sharing the stories on some incredible people that help us to provide flights for families.
One of our stars is Stacey Lazarenko. Stacey is in her fifth year of volunteering with Give A Mile and her passion, experience and eye for detail has had tremendous impact on our operations.
When did you start volunteering with GAM?
I started volunteering for Give a Mile in 2016.
What do you do in your volunteer role?
My role is to book the flights for flight recipients. I work side-by-side connecting families and friends whose dream is to be together during the end of life.
Why did you decide to volunteer with GAM?
This was not a decision, this was my calling. I had heard about Give a Mile through a colleague of mine. Immediately, I went on YouTube and watched the video on “The Story Behind Give a Mile.” Within minutes, I had called my colleague back and insisted that I be a part of this incredible charity. Having lost both of my parents to a terminal illness, I know how powerful a visit from loved ones is for people in palliative or critical condition.
What do you ‘get’ from your GAM Volunteer relationship?
Helping others is very important to me. I believe you get back what you give in life. I am contributing to a cause that I strongly believe in, and in return I am apart of something bigger, something more important than my day-to-day life. It is one of the most rewarding decisions I have made.
What is your most memorable GAM moment?
My most memorable Give a Mile moment was our 400th flight, in December of 2017.It was just before Christmas and I made an early morning telephone call to a family in Vancouver, advising them that Give a Mile was granting their family of four flights to Manila to see their family. Mom and Dad both had cancer and were struggling to make ends meet.
Their Gratitude was overwhelming. I FELT their gratitude as I listened to their tears of joy on the other end of the telephone. “Is this real?” He asked in disbelief. ”Merry Christmas!” I replied.