Volunteers are magic

26 Nov

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There is nothing more inspiring that watching the children from Magicana’s My Magic Hands program. I have been leading this particular program at Holland Bloorview for six years now, and I still can’t get over how amazing it is to see a young student blossom into a confident and charming performer.

Today, we had about 100 people in attendance at the hospital to see The Big Show – a show by students to showcase their favourite magic trick from five weeks of training with our My Magic Hands team. Each performer overcame nervous “butterflies” and really impressed their friends, family and, of course, their magic coaches with stellar performances! Watching these little ones transform over  week by week at the hospital is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had  as a professional magician.

However, as impressive as these children are to me, I also marvel at the power of volunteering and how it impacts participants. We create a supporting role for volunteers in the program by calling them “magic coaches” – and the coaches at Holland Bloorview filled their titles to a tee. We had four volunteers work alongside staff and magic instructors from Magicana, to coach each child through the rigour of learning their magic tricks. Volunteers dutiflly gave their time, energy and encouraging attitudes each week to support their young wards.

Getting up and performing in front of such a large group is a daunting task for most. In fact today, one participant wanted to withdraw from the show. It was heartwarming to see how coaches immediately pounced into action. They rallied behind our wavering magician and quickly melted her nervous fears, enabling her to work through the stage fright and ultimately, to bask in applause. I could not have been more proud.

The secret to our program is the high-level of dedicated volunteers that we have the privilege of working with. To all our volunteers, thank you for giving the invaluable gift of your time –  and for sharing wonder!

Julie Eng,
Executive Director

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