The Memorial Medical Center-Livingston Volunteer Auxiliary celebrated 30 years -- and thousands of hours -- of dedicated service on Thursday.
Past and present volunteers sporting the traditional teal jackets and members of the Memorial Medical Center-Livingston staff filled the Tower Lobby to celebrate the exceptional milestone.
Originally dubbed the “Pink Ladies” for their pink jackets, the organization changed its name and initial color when Paul DuCoin, the group’s first male volunteer began his service at the hospital.
“I told them I wasn’t going to wear pink,” DuCoin said during the celebration.
During the celebrating ceremony, special guest District 12 State Rep. James White presented the volunteers with a Texas flag which had been flown over the state capitol. He said the combined hours of service given by the numerous hospital volunteers represented the heart of what Polk County is all about.
“We were honored to be able to commend them for years of service to the hospital and to the citizens of Polk County,” Rep. White said. “The people of East Texas are grateful for their service.”
Pct. 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet declared Aug. 2 as Auxiliary Volunteer Day. According to the resolution passed by County Judge John P. Thompson, “the entire community can effect positive change with any Auxiliary Volunteer action, no matter how big or small…More than 30 Auxiliary Volunteers working in Memorial Medical Center-Livingston utilize their time and talent daily to make a real difference in the lives of patients, visitors and staff. The Auxiliary Volunteers are vital to our future as a caring and productive community.”
The resolution penned by Judge Thompson urged the citizens of Polk County to join the effort and “Celebrate Auxiliary Volunteers!” in the community because “by volunteering and recognizing those who serve, we can connect with neighbors and strangers and replace disconnection and isolation with understanding and compassion.”
The Auxiliary also honored Trish Jemison’s 15 years of volunteerism, including her multiple years of service as the Gift Shop manager. With tears in her eyes, she accepted the award of excellence from current Volunteer President Janis Hearn.
This group of energetic volunteers provides daily assistance throughout the hospital from greeting guests and answering telephones to operating the gift shop and popping popcorn.
“Being a volunteer is exciting,” Hearn said. “I always look forward to coming to work so that I can meet someone’s needs. It’s a great opportunity to do something for someone else. At Memorial we have the chance to help so many people in our four-hour shift. It’s a great way to give back to our community.”
Volunteers enjoy numerous benefits including a uniform furnished by the hospital, flexible work hours, a free meal on the day they work, a free tuberculosis test and free mammograms for women under 65 years old, and a free flu shot.
Proceeds from popcorn, jewelry and cake sales go toward scholarships for graduating high school seniors wanting to pursue the medical field. Profits from the Memorial Gift Shop go toward purchasing equipment for Memorial Medical Center-Livingston.
Anyone interested in joining the Volunteer Auxiliary should contact Hearn at (936) 646-2888.