Volunteers paint murals to create Hallway of Hope
Brenda Shim, Manager of Volunteer Services at the Misericordia Community Hospital walks smiling down the hallway between the Misericordia and the Cabrini Centre, proud of the beautiful space that has been created anew. Brenda came up with the idea to paint murals in the space when she realized that there were many youth that were looking to volunteer at the hospital, but were only able to commit a short period of time.
“Youth Volunteers were looking for episodic short-term volunteer opportunities, so we had to think outside of the box and get creative in opening a window of opportunity for our kids,” said Brenda.
The last day of the mural painting the hallway was bustling, when volunteers, staff, volunteer services staff and the Jasper Place Child and Family Resource Centre came together to celebrate the 18 individual murals they had created.
“We are doing this for a few reasons; to bring brightness and hope to a hallway that was dark and intimidating and needed a splash of color, to join Cabrini to the Misericordia family, as well as to give youth volunteers who don’t have a large amount of time an opportunity to help out at the hospital,” said Brenda.
This project was completed in only a two-week time frame, included 60 participants and resulted in a colorful and aesthetically pleasing hallway complete with 26 murals in total—a number which Lora Lee, Art Facilitator, says they’re hoping to grow even larger next year. Each mural has a different theme and quote that was chosen by the artist.
“We asked the volunteers to bring in an image that has meaning to them and gives them hope. Then we planned the murals together. I wanted to help them develop a skill and a style. Some of them had never touched a paintbrush before, so they had to learn,” said Lora.
Alix Dykes, a soft-spoken 17-year-old has volunteered for the hospital every Sunday since December last year. She enjoys making the hospital a more colorful place—in more ways than one—when she isn’t painting murals, Alix is singing and playing the guitar for patients on the fourth floor. She hopes all of her time spent in the Misericordia will acclimatize her to a hospital environment, because she hopes to become a doctor. Alix’s mural is a landscape image of an outdoor setting, with the quote, “We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understanding and our hearts.”
“We were told to bring in an image that had meaning and hope to us, and nature is hopeful to me, because it’s not something that you make happen, it happens naturally on its own,” said Alix.
Cabrini and Misericordia staff are now travelling the hallway and enjoying the hope-filled murals during their short journey between sites. According to Maja Markovic, Clerk at Facilities Management at the Misericordia, she now will welcome the trip.
“I used to go outside rather than use the hallway to travel from the Services Building to the Main Hospital, even when it was minus 30 degrees or pouring rain outside! The new murals create a warm and inviting space that is a pleasure to travel through—I look forward to having more original artwork to brighten our workspace,” said Maja.
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