St. Mary’s Hospital depends upon their volunteers to perform a variety of tasks that make a real difference to their patients and staff, according to Sr. Corinne Forsman, OSB, SMHC Mission Integration Director.
“Our volunteers allow us to do many things that otherwise might not get done or might take valuable staff time away from our patients,” said Sr. Corinne. “We appreciate all they do and hope they continue their worthwhile work with us.”
SMHC has about 30 regular volunteers that assist with the long term care residents and 15-20 other volunteers that file, build packets, help with large mailings and other tasks.
Irene Terhaar, has been a volunteer for 32 years. She was active with the SMH Guild before it disbanded, but continued volunteering her time and talent to make tray favors for 11 holidays each year.
“When I first started making the favors I only had to make about eight or ten, but now I make about 25 or 26 to make sure everyone gets one,” said Terhaar. “My family members and I keep a look out in craft magazines to find patterns that would work. They also help me collect everything from bottle caps to corks to cigar containers to use with the tray favors.”
Margaret Stewart has been a volunteer for 15 years. She also started out with the Guild and continued on. “I come in two times a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, to water all the plants. It gives me something to do and keeps me out of trouble,” laughed Stewart.
“Margaret and Irene are only two of our volunteers, but we have many more that help us so many ways,” said Sr. Corinne. “I am planning on recruiting and training more volunteers after the holidays. We have additional needs and want to expand our program. I’ll put an announcement in the newspaper when I schedule the training. In the meantime people can call me if they are interested and I can explain what some of our opportunities are.”
According to Sr. Corinne, people are motivated to volunteer for a variety of reasons. “I enjoy making the favors and if it makes even one patient smile then I know it’s worth it,” said Terhaar.
Sr. Corinne can be reached at SMH, 962-3251.