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Samia & Sanjana Development & Client Care Volunteers


Samia and Sanjana are friends, former classmates, neighbours—and fellow Hope Air volunteers.

The two friends met in high school and went on to attend the University of Toronto together. So when Samia became a summer student at Hope Air, Sanjana heard all about her experiences—and when Samia returned as a volunteer, Sanjana joined too.

“This was a chance to help people across Canada instead of just within my community,” Sanjana says of her decision.

Samia volunteers with the Development Department, conducting research on potential donors and helping with events, among other things. With her background in customer service, Sanjana joined the Client Care team. There she speaks with clients on the phone, confirming their flight information, filling any gaps in clients’ travel request forms, and confirming doctors’ appointments.

The happiest calls, Sanjana says, are the ones when she gets to tell a client their flight has been booked.

“It’s very rewarding,” Sanjana says. “The clients are so grateful. It makes you feel you’ve actually made a difference in their life.”

Samia says she’s learnt a lot about the barriers some Canadians face in accessing their healthcare.

“I’ve gone through so many statistics about certain people in certain regions, all the hardship they’d go through if not for Hope Air,” Samia says. “Some people suffer from really severe illnesses that prevent them from travelling in a car. It made me realize that Hope Air makes it possible for certain people to even reach their healthcare—that they might not otherwise. It’s pretty mind-boggling.”
 
“This was a chance to help people across Canada instead of just within my community."

“When I read some clients’ profiles, sometimes I’m shocked,” adds Sanjana. “They have to travel to another province for such a small thing. I have a client who has to travel three times a month just to have his cast re-adjusted. It’s crazy. Hope Air lets people live.”

The two also say they enjoy being around the Hope Air office.

“Everyone is really friendly,” says Samia. “You can see how everyone cares about each other. Everyone works together.”

“This just makes me want to come and volunteer,” Sanjana adds.

Outside of Hope Air, Samia is finishing up her undergraduate degree in political science and ethics. Sanjana recently graduated, with a degree in biochemistry and human biology, and is looking forward to attending graduate school.