Almost half a century ago a group of women put their collective minds together to formulate a mission that some would call impossible. It would become known as the St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Volunteer Auxiliary.
Thousands of volunteer hours later coupled with over $2.1 million dollars in donations their legacy lives on and remains a vital part of St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Lufkin. One hospital visitor described the volunteers as “love in motion.” Another likened them to “sunshine on a rainy day.” The members of the Volunteer Auxiliary come from all walks of life but they all have one thing in common – answering the call to serve.
They go about doing their assigned tasks dressed in their signature green vests always ready to help make the hospital a better place for everyone.
“It gives me a purpose for getting up in the morning and coming to work. I enjoy helping people. Volunteering at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial is the place I want to be,” said Candy Wadsworth, president of the Volunteer Auxiliary. It is after all a perfect fit. Candy’s sister, Cindy, works as a nurse in ICU. And, Candy’s mother, Daisy Wadsworth, served as a hospital volunteer for 27 years. She was president of the Volunteer Auxiliary seven of those years. It was Daisy Wadsworth’s idea to bring the popcorn machine to St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. The money from popcorn sales would be used to help fund scholarships for students seeking a career in the medical field. She didn’t want money to prevent someone from going to school. To date, proceeds from the popcorn sales have provided almost $400,000 in scholarships.
Volunteers work a minimum of four hours a week providing assistance throughout the hospital from greeting guests and answering telephones to operating the Gift Shop and popping popcorn. “Our volunteers are such a valuable asset to our patients & hospital. All the behind the scenes work they do, all the great work assisting our patients with information & the day to day operations, both here in the gift shop & hospital wide, make our precious volunteers one of the best things we have going for us,” said Karen Hooks, manager of the Gift Shop. “I am grateful & blessed to have the honor to work with them.”
Volunteers also help raise funds to purchase medical equipment for the hospital. Their annual $5 Masquerade Jewelry Sale is so popular that they added a second event to be held May 6 – 8 at the hospital.
Volunteers at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial work to make a difference. Positions are available in our Lufkin and Livingston facilities. This year we celebrate National Healthcare Volunteer Week during April 19-25. Call 936-639-7237 to join the team.
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