This week we are celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week. With over 900 volunteers in the hospital and at Gilchrist Hospice Care, GBMC has among the largest volunteer groups in the state.
Our volunteers perform numerous acts of kindness as they share their talents every day. We cannot achieve our vision without them. Since they are all accomplished members of the community they make it easier for us to stay focused on providing to every patient, every time the care that we would want for our own loved ones.
When I meet our volunteers throughout the system I am always amazed how personable they all are and how much they really enjoy helping others. My spirits always rise when I leave my office and I am greeted by the smiling volunteers at the front desk of the hospital.
Since the birth of GBMC, our volunteers have donated more than 2.4 million hours of service and through various endeavors, like the Nearly New Sale events, have raised more than 20 million dollars to support patient care at GBMC!
Our volunteers are people with wonderful personal stories who could be doing something else with their time. Instead, they come with a dedication to lessen the burden for our patients and their families, visitors and our staff.
A wonderful example is Sharon Barnes. She started volunteering at GBMC about six years ago. She decided to volunteer here because her mother was a GBMC volunteer and Sharon learned from her the value of volunteering and the importance of making a difference in someone’s day.
As a volunteer in the Family Waiting area of the General Operating Room, she greets patients who are coming in for surgery, takes them to the pre-op area and tells them what they need to do to prepare for surgery (how to put on the hospital gowns, etc). Sharon also tells patient’s family members what to expect and keeps them informed on their loved one’s progress (when they get to the recovery room or when they are ready to go home). Sharon is also the president of the Volunteer Auxiliary and conducts the Auxiliary Board meetings where they determine how to best deploy the money raised at the Nearly New Sales, the Corner Shop, and our Vendor Sales. She also represents the Auxiliary on the Philanthropy Committee, at various hospital functions during the year and at the fundraising activities conducted by the Auxiliary and by the hospital (Legacy Chase, Father’s Day 5K, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes). Sharon says that “it is an honor and a privilege to volunteer at GBMC”. For us, it’s an honor and a privilege to have volunteers like Sharon at our hospital.
Our volunteers don’t ask for much…actually they don’t ask for anything. They just give of themselves. They display selflessness. I am grateful for all that they do, from the smiles, to their daily work, and their commitment. When you meet a GBMC or Gilchrist volunteer this week please thank them.