It’s been said by those who volunteer for a variety of community service organizations that if you do a good job and work hard you’ll get a good paycheck; but if you volunteer you’ll have fun, friends and reap a reward far greater than any paycheck. Last week Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) held an appreciation barbeque for the 200 some volunteers that now give of their time to make a hospital experience more friendly, helpful and less frightening. “This year for the first time we created a Pioneer Award that was presented to Betty and Dave Lowery who were a couple of our first volunteers,” said Jim Childers, CPH volunteer coordinator. “About 12 years ago I was number four of the original four volunteers,” Dave told the Dispatch in an interview, “I didn’t start volunteering until a couple of days later so I guess I was number five,” laughed Betty. “When I started volunteering I noticed that employee morale was pretty low, so I recommended a Walmart type greeter at the entrance not just for the family of patients and visitors, but for the employees so that they would be recognized and appreciated for what they do here. So we set up what we now call the information desk and starting in the morning with four hour volunteer shifts saying good morning to the employees as well as helping visitors and in three weeks’ time we saw a dramatic difference with people smiling, talking and saying good morning. That’s why we’re out front our job is to help people find where they need to go and spread some happiness and be sure they feel welcome. It’s never fun to come to the hospital so we want to make it as easy as possible. We’re the only hospital that actually goes out to the vehicle with a wheel chair in case it’s needed by a visitor,” said Dave.
The volunteer celebration at CPH was also an occasion to award several scholarships. According to Childers the scholarships are funded primarily by the gift shop, bazaars, book sales, and bake sales put on by the Auxiliary and volunteers to raise funds. “The Auxiliary also helps the hospital and Heritage place to buy items that would benefit patients/residents. Recently we partnered with the Central Peninsula Health Foundation to purchase 2 slider rocking chairs for Heritage place and a Lucas Chest compression system for total costs of over $17, 000,” he explained. Presenting the scholarships were Jane Smith, President, Jane Stein Scholarship committee member, Colleen Bowers Treasurer, and Ruth Acopan Board member at large. “We will also be continuing to offer employee scholarships for the rest of the year until our total budget is depleted,” he said.
Madison Roberts, a Jr. Volunteer and daughter of Stephanie Roberts in I.S. was awarded a $4,000 scholarship towards her education. She will be attending Willamette University in Salem Oregon. Madison aspires to be a Pediatrician or Obstetrics Doctor. The other recipient Kathleen Harrison is employed by CPH Central Billing Office as a Biller. “Katherine received great recommendations from her co-workers and supervisors. She aspires to be a Coder/ studying Human Information Management, and is attending UAA to fulfill this dream, the Auxiliary awarded Kathleen a $2,000 scholarship. The CPH Auxiliary Board of Directors and members are excited to offer these scholarships to both Madison and Kathleen. We know they will make us all proud,” said Childers.