Laurie’s Journey to Volunteering at Children’s:
“After retiring from Children’s-St. Paul 3 years ago, I am back volunteering in the Emergency Department (ED) as a greeter/guide. This role gives me a lot of rewards: smiles, hugs, and many sincere ‘thank-yous’ from staff, parents and families. At Children’s retiree celebration, Volunteer Services invited interested retirees to join Children’s volunteer team. After several awesome shifts in the ED, I found the perfect match for me.
Greeting people is only a small part of my role. I walk around, making families feel that someone cares, and try to stop problems before they start. Seeing someone do this makes patients & families feel as though they are not forgotten. I also give directions and answer general questions so that the nurses can use their time for patient assessments. Some days, a lot of people need help with directions to clinics and/or United Hospital.
Besides volunteering at Children’s, I am a student (again!) at the U of M. In spring 2015, I will be a Ph.D. candidate in the English department: I am so excited! The cost of my class in minimal, as MN has a law in the books that helps senior citizens attend classes. At the U of M, if one audits a class, there is no charge: if a class is taken for a grade, the cost is $10 per credit. (Of course, books and lab supplies are extra.) This is a great opportunity for adults over 62 years of age to attend classes and get a degree, or just enjoy subjects that they are interested in.
I thought that retirement would be dull and boring. Instead, I find that coming to Children’s keeps me young and springy. This holiday season, I wish everyone the joy, happiness and fun that I have!”
Thank you, Laurie! Your support in the ED is so helpful to patients, families and staff!