Volunteer Spotlight: Shalaka

It’s National Volunteer Week and we want to celebrate some of our amazing volunteers.  

This is Shalaka, a.k.a. Galaxy. She’s a med student at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. When Shalaka’s not poring over medical books and preparing for exams, she’s back at home in Calgary where she volunteers for Kids Cancer Care. No wonder her camp name is Galaxy. She travels a lot.


Shalaka first learned about Kids Cancer Care in 2017 through a colleague of her mother’s who was impressed with the foundation. Shalaka was intrigued. She had worked with children at the YMCA as a lifeguard and swim instructor and loved it. She figured Kids Cancer Care would be a great fit. And so it is!


“Kids Cancer Care programs and events are so well run,” says Shalaka. “It’s a great experience for me as a volunteer and an excellent way to connect with like-minded youth while making a difference in the lives of children and families touched by cancer. On top of all this, I have a great time!”
Shalaka started volunteering in 2017 with our summer camp programs at Camp Kindle. In 2018 and 2019, she volunteered for our SunRise day camps, and during the pandemic, she volunteered for our virtual programs. She was also one of the dedicated volunteers who drove around Calgary, delivering special packages to families to enhance their online program experiences during COVID-19. As a volunteer, the most memorable moments for Shalaka are the ones where she sees personal growth in the kiddos. “At SunRise, I was a one-to-one aide for a young autistic boy,” she says. “He wanted to be carried everywhere and wasn’t eager to participate in any of the games and activities. I am a small person, so it was a bit of a challenge to carry him all day, but eventually, as we got to know each other, I was able to convince him to walk more and participate in the activities, and enjoy camp more. Seeing his smile was absolutely amazing and knowing I had made a difference was beyond rewarding.”


As she wraps up her spring school term, Shalaka is getting excited to return home and volunteer again. “I am so looking forward to interacting with kids in person at SunRise this year, especially after a gap of two years. The camp is so much fun for the children and it is amazing to have the bonding with other Kids Cancer Care volunteers. Can’t wait!” 

Shalaka first learned about Kids Cancer Care in 2017 through a colleague of her mother’s who was impressed with the foundation. Shalaka was intrigued. She had worked with children at the YMCA as a lifeguard and swim instructor and loved it. She figured Kids Cancer Care would be a great fit. And so it is!  

“Kids Cancer Care programs and events are so well run,” says Shalaka. “It’s a great experience for me as a volunteer and an excellent way to connect with like-minded youth, while making a difference in the lives of children and families touched by cancer. On top of all this, I have a great time!”  

As we kick off National Volunteer Week, we’re inviting you to celebrate our amazing volunteers by sharing your favourite volunteer stories!  


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