Letter: Recognizing hospital volunteers

Do you remember the relative in your family who always brought that certain beloved dish to the holiday gatherings? Do you remember that sigh of relief when they walked in the door, because with their dish, they brought a level of comfort to the gathering?

Well, this is a metaphor for the service and presence of the volunteer at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. There is a collective breath of relief when the volunteer arrives at his or her post, when staff is freed to complete the business of the day knowing that the volunteer is there to support them in their service to our patients.

Now, what is it like to support and serve this collective group of favorite relatives? It is an honor and privilege. It is like living with teachers, every day, who perform random acts of kindness. The sense of duty and commitment is a unique one to observe, the openness to attempt new service in retirement, the willingness to add an obligation to an already busy life, the desire to be here despite weather, or many of the other distractions.

And much of that dedication is due to the fact that many of our volunteers have also been our patients and they are 100 percent aware that all of the seemingly small tasks behind the scenes are critical to the care from clinician to patient. In other words, they have the golden rule down pat. Please be sure to practice this golden rule and honor your volunteers with random acts of kindness, especially during National Volunteer Week.

On Friday, April 11, we will be honoring the volunteers with a scrumptious breakfast and many kind words; the entire week of April 6-12 is a week for all of us to celebrate volunteering as an addition to one’s fully engaged life. It’s a particularly poignant time during which you can be sure the volunteers in your places of work are recognized and appreciated.

As a special recognition of National Volunteer Week, the Baystate Franklin Auxiliary (super volunteers themselves!) is offering a 15 percent discount to the volunteers at BFMC in the Gift Shop. This generous discount is also being offered to community members who volunteer in locations all over the Franklin County area.

BECKY GEORGE

manager of Volunteer Services

Baystate Franklin Medical Center

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