Volunteers at OHSU are placed in a variety of settings where they spend their time and talents serving the OHSU community. In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we interviewed several of OHSU’s stellar volunteers to learn more about their roles and the impact their service has with our patients, families and staff.
Marcia is a gifted musician who has volunteered at OHSU for more than 12 years through our Healing Through Music program. At each visit, she shares her gift with those in need who truly appreciate it.
“My favorite thing about volunteering is seeing smiles on people’s faces when they see me and hear my music,” Marcia said. “I volunteer because I’m lucky enough to have the time – it makes me feel like I’m contributing to society and it just feels good.”
Marcia recommends volunteering at OHSU to other musicians who want a place to play. She appreciates having a set time every week to focus on her music away from personal worries and other responsibilities and distractions.
“One memorable moment was when I was playing for adult patients undergoing therapy,” Marcia said. “After listening to me play, a man told me that it was the first time in two weeks he hadn’t felt nauseated.”
What a gift!
Louis is a retired nurse who has logged nearly 1,000 hours volunteering as a guide on OHSU’s South Waterfront campus, where he directs visitors to their destinations quickly and efficiently. His dedication to OHSU and its patients is reflected in his daily interactions with others! Here’s what Louis shared about his volunteer role:
“For 37 years I enjoyed helping patients during the stressful time of illness. After retiring, I found I really missed not helping people. I’ve found that volunteering at CHH 1 or 2 was both a perfect fit for my desire to help people during the stressful time in a medical environment and have something to do utilizing my comfort with a medical environment. During any given shift I find myself interacting with 30-40 patients and/or families. When a patient and or family member sees me later and they thank me for the assistance I provided, it gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing I helped them.”
Thank you, Louis!
Ruth has logged just shy of 2,000 hours volunteering at OHSU since she began in 2015. She serves in OHSU Doernbecher’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where her job is to hold babies.
“My favorite part of volunteering is that I can make a difference just by doing something I love: Providing a moment of peace, kindness and love in somebody’s darkest day,” Ruth said. “I’ve had so many impactful experiences – if I had to pick just one, it’s when a parent or nurse has me take their baby so they can go home at night and rest.”
Thank you for all of the cuddles and comfort you provide for our tiniest patients and their families, Ruth!
Paola volunteers as a guide and also volunteers on 10K, 11K and 13K! She volunteers four days a week for four to six hours each shift and says she plans to do this for the rest of her life. To date, Paola has contributed 591 hours and 145 visits to the program and to our patients and staff.
Thanks for everything you do, Paola!