Talon News - Good Local News

VOLUNTEER MONTH

 

April 21, 2017

SJRMC volunteers (l to r) Bob Easterling, George Head, Eileen White, Faye DeVilbiss, Marcy Freestone, Dianna Thur

The month of April is nationally recognized as Volunteer Month. As part of the month-long celebration San Juan Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) hosted a Volunteer Open House on Wednesday, April 12, highlighting what the SJRMC volunteers do. They also offered information about volunteer opportunities. SJRMC volunteers perform many tasks, perhaps the most visible being greeting and directing hospital patients and visitors at the main entrance, and operating the on-site Gift Market.

However, the SJRMC volunteer system is extensive, operating under the Auxiliary leadership, with approximately 80 volunteers who serve in different capacities, and an additional 30 that serve behind the scenes from their homes. The Auxiliary oversees many committees and services, including Pet Pals, crafters, fundraising, historians, and much more. One fundraiser which has gained popularity and grown significantly is the $5 Jewelry Sales, where one can find a bargain on a lot more than jewelry! They also hold book sales, similar to what one might find offered at some schools. The fundraising efforts recently allowed the Auxiliary to gift over $35,000 to the operating room to purchase trauma and critical care instruments. This allows more trauma patients to receive treatment and remain at SJRMC, rather than being transferred to other facilities.

The Auxiliary offers financial assistance to those wishing to pursue medical careers, and requires the recipients of the funds to work at least one year at SJRMC following completion of their program. This encourages San Juan County residents to remain living and working here. It is the funds earned from the Gift Market that are used to provide this educational assistance.

The open house served as the kick off for the Summer VolunTeen Program. With the end of the school year quickly approaching, now is the time for students 14 and older to begin the process that allows them to volunteer during the summer months. Experience such as this can help young people determine whether a career in the health field is for them, and set them apart when seeking future education, employment, and scholarships. For additional information regarding this opportunity teens can contact Teresa Becker at [email protected]

Volunteerism is an integral piece of SJRMC and many other agencies in our area, particularly the not-for-profit organizations, or NPO's. Volunteers allow NPO's to offer services they may otherwise not be able to, due to funding or other limitations. San Juan County is fortunate to have many volunteer opportunities and resources. San Juan College's Volunteer Center can help individuals, families, groups and organizations find their niche in the volunteer world. They also have an annual event in April recognizing local volunteers and presenting a Volunteer of the Year award. This year the SJRMC crafter group was nominated for this award.

Volunteering not only benefits the organization and the people they are purposed to serve, studies indicate that it is correlated with better quality of life for the volunteers. Volunteers have lower risk of depression, enjoy a sense of fulfillment and purpose, stay physically and mentally active, experience reduced stress, have increased dopamine release which is associated with "feeling happy," live longer and are presented with more opportunities, according to Create the Good Organization (http://createthegood.org/articles/volunteeringhealth). SJRMC welcomes inquiries about their volunteer and fundraising opportunities and will continue volunteer recognition throughout April.

 

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