National Healthcare Volunteer Week April 7-13: Give a little…change a lot!!!
Since 1974, by Executive Order, every sitting President has issued a proclamation during National Volunteer Week as have many Mayors and Governors. It has become a nationwide effort to urge people to get out and volunteer in their communities and foster a culture of service. Health care volunteers play an integral role in advancing patient engagement and quality care. Charities, hospitals and communities recognize volunteers and foster a culture of service.
So, what do our health care volunteers do here in Olney? On a day-today basis, we serve the staff and patients by providing fresh ice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, newspapers and conversation to those able to enjoy a visit from our cheery volunteers who bring the refreshment cart to the Nursing Unit weekday mornings. We also manage and staff the Atrium Gift Shop at the hospital. Of course, the staff is our best customers, but we also cater to our community since we are located just off the main lobby where people check in for a lab, X-ray, ultrasound or MRI procedures, as well as Pain Clinic or Wound Care. This past week we hosted a Scrub Sale for the hospital staff, nursing home staff or other organizations that wear scrubs at work. We host several vendors who come to the hospital and provide merchandise such as linens, jewelry, clothing, books, gift and holiday items for sale. All sales are always open to the whole community. We have a couple of fundraisers a year, usually in the form of a Community Meal, but we also incorporate a Bake Sale and Raffle along with the meal. We help manage the reservations for Anita’s House, our hospitality house developed by the Hospital Foundation to be available for a very reasonable donation to out of town families of critical patients or for a funeral of a loved one. Of course, we happily accept donations when offered.
What have we done with the funds we raise? The Auxiliary has purchased requested items to many departments to include 2 sets of automatic doors, blinds in many patient rooms, improved lighting in 1 or 2 patient rooms, specialty wheelchairs, physical therapy equipment, speech therapy needs, CPR equipment and training aids, a food warmer cart, medical records carts and has assisted in purchasing flooring and furniture in the education building as well as the hospital lobby and patient rooms. We also helped buy a van to help patients get to doctor appointments and get home.
Unfortunately, we are shrinking in numbers due to aging and illness and could sure use more help. It is a work of the heart. If you have a passion for helping others and could donate a few hours a week or every other week, please consider stepping up to volunteer in your community. Join us. We need help for the service we provide on the Nursing Unit and in the Gift Shop. If you have special skills, please share them. Remember, a little giving on your part can make a big difference to those in need. Volunteers enjoy better health and live longer more productive lives. THEY DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! When you see a volunteer, be sure and thank them for what they do. It’s the only payment they receive.