Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 11:15 AM
From running the gift shops to assisting in labs and pharmacies, volunteers play a big role in helping patients and employees.
Marshall Medical Centers honored its hospital volunteers with a luncheon and gift during National Volunteer Week.
More than 100 volunteers worked more than 17,000 hours last year at Marshall North, Marshall South and at the Marshall Cancer Care Center, according to Cheryl Hays, Marshall North Administrator, who thanked them for their tireless effort.
Marshall Medical Centers CEO Gary Gore welcomed volunteers to the luncheon at Gunter’s Landing.
Linda Patterson, Chairman of the Alabama Council of Hospital Auxiliaries, spoke to the group about the positive effects of volunteering.
"Volunteering is good for the mind and body and provides many benefits to both mental and physical health," Patterson said. "Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine. Volunteering also adds fun to your years."
Each volunteer received a sun fern as a token of the hospitals’ appreciation for their service.
One unique and long-running volunteer program at Marshall North is the Auxiliary Craft Committee, which makes holiday-themed tray favors for patients.
Myra Nell Head, who started volunteering in 1990, loves being part of "the crafters."
“We probably enjoy this more than the patients do,” she said.
Crafting is only one aspect of the many important roles volunteers play, from working in the gift shops to assisting in the labs, ERs and pharmacies.
Volunteering in a hospital gift shop is part candy salesperson and part therapist, according to Brenda Smith of Crossville who has volunteered there for nearly 17 years.
Many of the people who wander into the tiny but cheerful space are looking for a kind face and someone who will listen.
“Many patients come down who have been in the hospital a few days and they just need somebody to talk to,” she said. “Some of them are just overwhelmed.”
Anyone interested in volunteering at any of Marshall Medical’s facilities should call (256) 571-8018, and visit our Volunteering web page for more information.