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Feature Article Volunteering Benefits Samaritan & Volunteers Alike

By Ian Rollins


For Lorene Stewart, hospital volunteering isn’t just about giving. It’s also about building friendships and staying active.

“I like working with people, helping someone who has no idea what to get for a patient,” said Stewart, who played a key role in developing the Caring Corner gift shop at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital in 1995.

Stewart is among several active auxiliary members who have helped the organization raise more than $1 million in east Linn County since 1985. These funds have gone toward equipment and major projects at the hospital and its outlying clinics in Lebanon, Sweet Home and Brownsville, as well as scholarships for east Linn County students pursuing health careers.

The auxiliary raised these funds through the gift shop and Garden Grounds espresso stand at the hospital – which Stewart also helped develop in 2005. The auxiliary hosts pie sales at Lebanon’s summer Concerts in the Park and various special sales at the hospital.

Stewart, who worked as a nurse and owned an arts and crafts store, started volunteering at the hospital in 1993 when she and her husband, Tom, retired. Today, Stewart mainly works on the auxiliary’s books.

“In the gift shop, you get to know the employees and the patients’ families,” she said. “Sometimes they just need to talk. ‘I have a relative here’ or ‘I just found out I have cancer.’ They need someone to listen to them, and you can really help them more than just by selling them something.”

Although the same relationship-building doesn’t occur at the coffee stand, Stewart said she enjoyed volunteering there as well. “I didn’t know about all the different coffee drinks until I took the training,” she said. “It was a terrific learning experience. It was a lot of fun.”

What would Stewart say to anyone looking for a place to volunteer? “Volunteering here can be so personally rewarding,” she said. “You’re doing something worthwhile, and you’re contributing to the community.”

She finds benefits to her health as well. “Mentally, it gives me something to look forward to. I’ve made so many friends, and I love being able to connect with them here.”

Volunteers and hospital auxiliaries are an important part of all five hospitals within Samaritan Health Services. Volunteers perform several duties at each hospital, and the auxiliaries raise funds for hospital equipment and student scholarships.

“It’s more than the hours our volunteers give or the funds they raise,” said Marty Cahill, Chief Executive Officer at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. “Volunteers give us their passion and commitment—they generously give of themselves to support our mission in building healthier communities together.”

Background image: 104 Volunteers BGC

Interested in Volunteering?

Visit us for more information or to download an application.

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

Volunteers help in a variety of positions in the hospital including Good Sam’s Gifts, Family Assistance, Healing Garden, and the Ambulatory Surgery Center. They visit with patients and visitors in the Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center. Volunteers also participate in the No One Dies Alone/Compassionate Companion program.
Funds raised at the gift shop and a variety of special sales go toward allocations to hospital departments, student and employee scholarships and capital campaigns including the Mario Pastega House Expansion Fund.

For more information, contact the Volunteer Services Department by email or 541-768-5083.

Samaritan Albany General Hospital

Volunteers may staff the auxiliary gift shop, make patient comfort pillows, fill new mommy water bottles, deliver department mail, greet visitors or help keep patients, families, surgeons and staff connected in the surgery center. Auxiliary members and volunteers also help with numerous programs supporting special hospital projects. Proceeds from gift shop sales and auxiliary fundraisers benefit student and employee scholarships as well as other hospital projects.

For more information, call Suzette Boydston, Auxiliary and Volunteer Services Director, at 541-812-4185.

Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital

Volunteers staff the Caring Corner Gift Shop and Garden Grounds espresso stand, and greet patients and visitors throughout the hospital. The auxiliary holds fundraisers throughout the year, with funds going toward equipment purchases at the hospital, clinics and other off-site facilities, as well as student scholarships.

For more information, call Sheryl Berger, Volunteer Services Manager, at 541-451-7062.

Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital

Our volunteers are people of all ages and from all walks of life, people who have a spirit of service, creativity, sensitivity for human pain, strong moral values, the ability to work on a team and a social conscience. Whether you are a senior or retiree, a college student or professional, there are many volunteer opportunities for you here. Some of the volunteer work includes assisting patients, gardening, staffing the gift shop, making deliveries, helping with special fundraising projects and more. Proceeds from the many fundraising activities through the year go toward the purchase of hospital equipment and educational scholarships.

Find out how you can help by calling Celeste O’Brien, SNLH volunteer services coordinator, at 541-996-7132.

Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital

Volunteers supplement the work of paid staff in delivering services to improve the health and well-being of our community. Areas volunteers serve in include our Emergency Department, Acute Care, Gift Shop, OTC and Nursing Administration. These volunteer opportunities involve being a friendly visitor, providing customer service in the Auxiliary Gift Shop, making deliveries between departments and various clerical assistance. The Gift Shop and special Auxiliary fundraisers raise money that support our employee grants & scholarships, the OCCC nursing scholarship and other various hospital projects.

For more information, please call Melissa Maxon, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at 541-574-4885, ext. 2537.