Think volunteering at St. Mary's and you'll no doubt think of certain jobs you would normally associate with hospitals, but after closer inspection you might be surprised.
The recent Rose Hill Rally got Dixie thinking about St. Mary's Rose Hill Hospitality House's need for volunteers, which led her to wonder about other unique volunteer opportunities at St. Mary's.
The first volunteer she met with, Bob Schneller, explained some of the functions of his volunteer position.
"I am the trainer for new volunteers," Schneller explained. "I take them through the orientation process... And then my other duty is to take tours up to the 14th floor to the helicopter pad."
Besides volunteering at other organizations, what is it about volunteering at St. Mary's that keeps him coming back after 14 years?
"They recognize their volunteers. They realize that we're all worth something there and that we're a great asset. They take good care of us," Schneller explained.
Ed Lipton is an 8-year, dedicated volunteer at the hospital and at Rose Hill Hospitality House, a place that provides a comfortable and safe haven for out of town patients and their families.
"People who are from out of town who have a connection to the hospital, who have to be here day after day or periodically, can stay at the Rose Hill House free of charge," explained Lipton.
Funded by donations, Ed works hard on the Rose Hill Rally, raising funds for the House.
"The Rose Hill Rally is a family-oriented bike ride. It takes place on the first Sunday of May every year, and it raises money for the Rose Hill Hospitality House," he explained.
At the hospital, he's sometimes upstaged by a four-legged volunteer.
"Her name is Terrah. Terrah is a ten-year old Labrador retriever and she's been a therapy dog at the hospital. This is her ninth year. She visits patients and families of patients and staff, both in the hospital and over at the pavilion," said Lipton.
He says it's hard to describe what it all means to him.
"It's so satisfying and so enriching that it's not what I get out of it, it's what I see around me," he explained.
Jeanie Morris, volunteer coordinator with St. Mary's Hospital and Rose Hill, says we have no idea how important and valuable their volunteers are.
"We look at what we would pay a staff member and we just average our minimum wage plus benefits we would pay, and it's almost a million dollars," Morris explained, "But it's so much more than that. It's not really about the dollars, it's about what else they add to it."
Volunteer opportunities are almost endless, to the point you could create your own.
"We have certain volunteer roles, but we also look at what interest levels volunteers have and then we can determine if there's another place that we haven't really thought of," explained Morris. "We've had several volunteers kind of create their own position based on what they wanted to do and what they were able to do."
With the diversity of volunteer jobs at St. Mary's, you'll not only find something to pique your interest, you'll find a lot of new friends.
For more information on how to volunteer with St. Mary's or how to donate to the Rose Hill Hospitality house, call 298-2012 or Click here for more information