The Rewards of Volunteering
In past years, Morris resident Janine Petric spent many hours in hospital surgical waiting areas while her daughter underwent surgeries for a medical condition. Because of her personal experiences, she well understands the nervous anxiety families often feel while they wait for a loved one in surgery.
So when Janine left her teaching job, she didn’t hesitate to enlist as a volunteer in Morris Hospital’s surgical waiting area. Over the past year, she has spent one morning a week at Morris Hospital greeting families of surgical patients and connecting them with the surgeons and surgical staff for updates.
“The families can be nervous,” she says, “so my role is really about being kind and considerate and comforting. Morris Hospital is very good at that.”
Janine is one of 290 active volunteers who logged a total of 40,000 hours at Morris Hospital last year, helping staff and patients in a range of roles.
“Our volunteers have accomplished great things for our organization,” says Karen Nowosielski, Manager of Volunteer Services at Morris Hospital. “This group just amazes me. They are such an important part of the hospital.”
The roles Morris Hospital volunteers serve are as varied as the volunteers themselves. There are men and women, some retired, some working, while some are stay-at-home parents. They range in age from 16-93. Some volunteer during the day, while others give their time during the evening or on weekends.
While volunteers contribute so much to Morris Hospital, in turn, they tend to get so much back in return. Nowosielski says volunteering is a great way to serve the community and make new friends.
“Volunteering is good for the soul and good for the mind,” she says.
John Connon can attest to that. The Morris resident has been volunteering with Morris Hospital’s Patient Transportation service for the past three years and loves it. He and a volunteer partner drive community members to and from the hospital and other medical appointments all throughout Grundy County and into LaSalle, Kendall and Will.
“I knew volunteering would be a great way to give back to the community,” says John. “It’s a really good way to help people. You also meet a lot of good people when you do this, both at the Transportation office at the hospital and on the bus. I look forward to it every week.”
“It’s a good reason to get up in the morning, knowing you’re going to go in and help people,” he adds. “I get so much more out of volunteering than I think the riders get.”
Janine agrees and says she enjoys her volunteer work so much, she would recommend it to anybody.
“If you’ve got a few hours a week,” she says, “volunteering at the hospital is most rewarding.”
With the patient transportation service alone requiring a team of about 100 volunteers to drive the buses and assist the drivers, Nowosielski says the hospital is always looking for more volunteers.
For more information, call the volunteer office at 815-705-7022 or visit www.morrishospital.org/volunteer.
WAYS TO SERVE
There are many ways to serve as a Morris Hospital volunteer!
• Surgical waiting volunteers serve as an important connection for patients’ families.
• Outpatient registration volunteers escort same day surgery patients back to the surgery area after they are registered.
• Gift Shop volunteers serve families, patients and staff in a retail setting.
• As greeters, main lobby reception desk volunteers are an important resource as guests enter the hospital.
• Clerical volunteers assist a variety of departments behind the scenes.
• Fundraising and special events volunteers help out at community and employee events and activities.
To learn how to become a volunteer at Morris Hospital, please visit www.morrishospital.org/volunteer.