I got into volunteering because I wanted to give back to the community. I like the people I work with and knowing that I am giving my time to people who are in need of it. I didn't think that being a volunteer would be as rewarding as it is for me! I like seeing the appreciation from patients and their family members at a difficult time. Just offering a smile or a kind word means a lot to them. I can't wait for Tuesdays because I love the ER staff and everyone is so nice. The work they do is so much more than I could ever imagine. Thank goodness for people like them who give so much every day! I am lucky to be a volunteer at LGH.
–Maria, LGH Emergency Room
A pleasant encounter with a volunteer in the Emergency room at LGH, and retirement, opened up the free time to volunteer.The spring before I retired, a family member had to be taken to the emergency room of LGH under very frightening and stressful circumstances. A volunteer stayed with us the whole time and very pleasantly answered our questions and eased our fears. From that day, I knew I wanted to help others in that manner and knew I had the people skills to do it. What I like best about volunteering is meeting and helping people in their time of need and learning new skills. The most rewarding thing is helping people navigate the huge campus to find the office they need and knowing I can help make their visit less intimidating. I enjoy being part of a well-trained team of people helping people.
–Ginny, Suburban Outpatient Pavilion
I’m not working at the moment and I thought this would be a great way to help others, by volunteering. I’ve met new people, I really enjoy working with the staff, there’s always a project to do, and it’s a very friendly, welcoming environment. I feel like I’m making a difference. LGH is a wonderful place to volunteer. I really feel valued and appreciated when I’m here.
–Randi, Volunteer Services Office
I volunteer on LGH's oncology floor. I provide lay pastoral contact to patients whose lives are upended by cancer or other severe health issues. By providing one-on-one companionship to patients in crisis, I strengthen the deeply rooted bond that links us all together in this life. Life's weariness and pain can be lessened by love, compassion, and caring, and I want to be part of that. I feel I become more fully human when holding the hand of another in pain, and conveying, even in silence, we are not alone in the uncertainty of sickness. Emily Dickinson was right: "The least fan, stirred by a friend's hand, cools like the rain."
–Charlie, Nursing Unit, TLC Program
I volunteer in the Physical Therapy Department at the Susquehanna Division of LGH. I think volunteering is good for the mind and body. It keeps me active. I learned how to do a program on the computer for them which I thought I would never accomplish, so I feel good about learning it. I get a satisfaction out of helping the people I work with. They are all very nice and I know they appreciate what I do for them. The employees there are superb. It's nice to see how well they work with the patients and improve their lives. I live by the motto “To Serve, Not Be Served.”
-Lareene, Columbia Health Center
I have always had an interest in the medical environment, and while I have no clinical training, I felt that my people skill skills, work ethic, and compassion could be put to good use in assisting the staff and making the patient experience more complete. I enjoy interacting with the patients and doing the little things that the staff does not have the time to do. It gives me great personal satisfaction to know that I made a positive difference, regardless of how small, in someone’s life in the midst of a negative circumstance. The volunteer brings a fresh approach to the patient’s hospital experience.
–Terry, LGH Emergency Room
I wanted to volunteer at LGH to support patients who have traumatic illnesses. Since I love patient contact and wanted to try to lessen the load for a patient who is going through a difficult time, I decided in 2004 to volunteer on the Oncology Unit. I love to sit and listen to a patient, listen to their story of how their illness affects them. I love to try to bring them a smile, and I do a lot of active listening. I tell the patients that I have two ears and a compassionate heart, and if you would like to share your story, this story will be just between you and me. I have held many hands, given a lot of support, and shared lots of tears along the way. I would say that the most rewarding thing that I have experienced in volunteering is to have a patient tell me, "I can see how much you enjoy what you do just by the smile on your face." I had a patient about three years ago who had a rather aggressive form of leukemia. I supported him for some weeks. This one day when I went into his room, he gave me something that he had made for me. It was a lovely flower, much like a daffodil. He said, "Here, this is for you. I made it out of paper cups." When he gave it to me, I could have cried. I told him that I had a little bud vase and when I went home, I would put his paper cup daffodil in it and would always think of him. The next week that I went into the Unit, he was not there. I was told that he passed away. I still have his little paper cup daffodil in my bud vase in my home and I think of him each time I look at it.
–Janice, Nursing Unit, TLC Program
I wanted to give something back, learn new things, and make new friends. What I like best about volunteering is the positive, polite atmosphere of LGH. Being around positive people in a positive environment feeds my soul!
–Rachelle, LGH Volunteer Room