Volunteering- A Trend That’s Always in Style

There is no question about it. Giving back is an action that always makes us feel good. Whether it’s something as small as purchasing the meal of the person behind you in the drive through or as large as donating a vehicle to a family in need, an act of kindness means a lot. While the term “pay it forward” is a new trend, that action is having a direct impact on someone else’s life. And that is never going out-of-style.

Volunteers Make an Impact

According to the Volunteering in America report, more than 77 million adult Americans volunteered through an organization in 2018. Altogether, they donated a total of nearly 6.9 billion hours. This doesn’t even account for the millions more helping friends, family, and neighbors in their communities through “informal volunteering.”

 “At Firelands Regional Medical Center we have a top-notch team of volunteers,” said Anne McGookey, director of Volunteer Services. “In 2018, 245 role models were part of our volunteer family. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing over 80 men, women, and teens who found that Firelands was a great plac e to “hang their hat” and joined our program for the first time.”

It is common knowledge that the volunteers at Firelands are unparalleled in their generosity— some would say they would even go as far as ‘giving you the shirt off their backs!’ But for more tangible facts, in 2018, Firelands volunteers contributed over 27,320 hours of their time which equates to nearly $675,000 in value to the medical center.

“This past year the Firelands Auxiliary and Gift Shop volunteers raised $93,500 for patient equipment and amenities in addition to supporting their annual pledge to the Center for Women and Newborns,” said Anne.  “Dialysis, Pharmacy and Radiology were just a few of the departments that benefited from the Auxiliary’s generosity.”

These contributions keep the hospital on the cutting edge of technology and providing the best possible care to patients during their time of need.

Sometimes, all a volunteer needs to do is walk in a room and wag their tail to brighten a patient’s day. You might remember two of these special little volunteers from a previous blog post last year!

“Our four-legged friends in Pet Therapy have a natural ‘pawsitive effect’ on everyone they encounter,” said Anne. “Ty, Shelby and Quincy, Brody, Molly, Mr. Biggs, Zuki and Peppy La Poo provide us with unconditional love as they put a smile on the faces of patients, family members and employees.”

All around the medical center, you will find volunteers in a variety of departments such as the Infusion Center, Digestive Health and the Emergency Room – areas where dealing with anxious patients and family members is a daily part of their job.  It can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but you will never see these special people ‘Come apart at the seams.’   

These are just a small handful of the departments impacted by volunteers. At the end of the day, without the support of these wonderful men, women, and pups our hospital would not be the amazing facility it is today. During this National Volunteers week, please join us in thanking all of our wonderful volunteers for their time, devotion and dedication. 

Interested in Volunteering?

Do you want to volunteer, but aren’t sure where your talents can be put to the most use? There are many other opportunities around the hospital:

  • Patient and guest relations: Volunteers assist staff on nursing floors by offering assistance with nonmedical needs.
  • Gift shops: The Firelands Auxiliary manages three gift shops and needs volunteers as salespersons and cashiers, and for stocking and data entry.
  • Information Desk—main and south campuses: Volunteers are essential at the information desk as they assist patients and visitors, deliver flowers and mail, and help transport guests.
  • Clerical assistance, special projects: Volunteers are always needed to help departments with typing, filing, data entry, and phone reception services. Special projects and events are often staffed by volunteer assistance.
  • Department assistance: Many departments find volunteers beneficial. Pharmacy, dietary, physical therapy, and central scheduling are just a few who benefit from volunteers.
  • Hands and Hearts from Home: Recognizing the many talents of our community members, volunteers are needed in providing handmade items such as hats, gloves, scarves, blankets and post-surgical pillows as well as providing donations of current magazines, puzzle books, and other reading material. Please contact Volunteer Services for complete details.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Firelands Regional Medical Center, visit our Volunteer Services web page to sign up or for more information about our program, contact our director of volunteer services at 419-557-7460 or email volunteer@firelands.com.