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 CHI 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 CHI 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 CHI 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 CHI 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 CHI 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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