For the first time in three years, an in-person celebration was held during National Volunteer Week to recognize the dedicated volunteers at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital. While the low-key event did not include the traditional luncheon with fun activities, speeches and applause, it was greatly appreciated nonetheless, said Kathy Smith, Volunteer Services coordinator.
Volunteers were invited to drop by a conference room on Friday, April 29, to pick up a small gift of appreciation. During the hour, hospital CEO Lesley Ogden, MD, greeted and chatted with the volunteers and announced each volunteer’s lifetime hours of service.
“She did a great job making everyone feel so appreciated,” Smith said.
During the pandemic, Samaritan Health Services decided that the volunteers, many of whom represent an older and more vulnerable demographic, should not be allowed to work in the hospitals and clinics, for their own safety. With restrictions lifting, the volunteers have begun returning to their former duties – serving the hospital, patients and the community.
“One of my volunteers told me that so many employees have come up to them to welcome them back,” Smith said. “Not only do the volunteers perform a useful service but we enjoy the opportunity to talk with these lovely men and women. It’s a refreshing break in our daily routine.”
Each volunteer received a gift bag that contained a cute flowerpot/mug, a Safeway gift card, fancy cookie, certificate of appreciation and Samaritan-branded heart-shaped stress ball.
The following volunteers were recognized for donating 1,000-plus lifetime hours of service:
Ruth Green, 7,894 hours; Susie Lazott, 6,402 hours; Jackie Watson, 4,975 hours; Jerry Zilis, 2,925 hours; Joni Kaletka, 2,853 hours; Kay Dixon, 2,795 hours; Bonnie Gatlin, 2,748 hours; Audrey Crocker, 2,697 hours; Kitty Bushman, 2,144 hours; Vivian Brenden, 1,898 hours; Cathy Baumgarte, 1,536 hours; Carol Seeley, 1,434 hours; Nancy Cross, 1,282 hours; Judy Hathaway, 1,102 hours; Marjie Haun, 1,055 hours; Karen Andreika, 1,015 hours; and Bev Barcroft, countless hours handcrafting quilts for patients and fundraisers.
The SNLH Auxiliary/Volunteers serve in a variety of ways: gift shop and gift boutique sales, family and patient assistance, crafters and knitters, event organizers, staffing community health fairs and more. Proceeds from the hospital gift shop and special events, including the scrub sales, book sales and orchid sale, raise funds that go toward the purchase of equipment for the hospital; health education scholarship money; and hospital supplies and special programs.
CUTLINE: Dr. Lesley Ogden poses with volunteer Ruth Green who received the fresh-cut flower centerpiece in honor of close to 8,000 hours of service to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.