Presentation of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award
Montréal, Quebec, Tuesday, November 26, 2013
It is a pleasure to be here among such compassionate people for this presentation of Caring Canadian Awards.
Your stories, simply put, are amazing. Each of you has done so much as a member of the PalliAmi team, giving not just to the organization, but also to the people who rely on its services. You have shown how caring you are, how understanding you are, how empathetic you are to those at the most vulnerable point of their lives, as well as their families.
It is not easy. To care for someone at the end of their life requires patience and consideration and no small amount of compassion, qualities you have shown in abundance.
You have proven that end-of-life care need not be a burden. Every day, you return some of the dignity and humanity that have been lost among hospital gowns and oxygen tanks. You give people a reason to smile, a reason to look forward to tomorrow. That is why what you do is so important.
You have helped families to ease their own pain, to help come to terms with what is happening to their loved ones. This, too, is no small task, but you handle it with the kindness and gentle touch that has become this organization’s hallmark.
What you do here is so special, and as we shine a light on your accomplishments, we see that there is a consistency of giving throughout your lives.
No matter how you have helped out, you have displayed unique talents and skills. Volunteering has enriched your lives just as it has enriched the lives of others.
Canadians across the country are generous on scales both large and small. All of you have had so many individual giving moments, moments where you have helped others selflessly and with no expectation of recognition.
And yet, I believe that it is vital that we honour the caring Canadians among us. They make this a better country. You make this a better country. And you do it one moment at a time.
The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award was created to recognize people like you, those who work in anonymity, happy in what they do for others.
I am here to laud your accomplishments and to take your stories with me so that I may share them wherever I go. You are caring Canadians, and I am honoured to present you with this award today.
Thank you for what you have done for this country and for your community.