The Newman Regional Health Auxiliary is inviting those interested in making a difference to come and learn more about becoming an auxiliary member.
From 4 - 6 p.m. Thursday, a table will be set up in the hospital cafeteria where prospective volunteers can find out about volunteer opportunities, fill out an application and make donations to the auxiliary.
The Newman Regional Health Auxiliary is a team of volunteers that was first established in 1955. Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Storrer said the group provides a number of services to benefit both the hospital and its patients on a daily basis, as well as the community as a whole.
“The purpose of the auxiliary is to be a benefit of the hospital and the community,” Storrer said. “You plan your budget for the entire year and you think you’ve got it all figured out, but life happens to everybody — including the hospital.”
Storrer said that’s where the auxiliary comes in. Aside from volunteering a cumulative 1,000 hours per month, auxiliary members help raise money for needed equipment and furnishings and also fund a number of scholarships for students pursuing degrees in health care-related fields.
“In the last five years, we have given more than $50,000 in scholarships, which is amazing, and the auxiliary is happy to do it,” Storrer said. “Without support from the community, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Storrer said there are a number of areas where people can donate their time, depending on their interests and their personalities. Volunteers who would like a more regular schedule can work as greeters at information desks, help in the gift shop or snack bar, sort and deliver mail and more.
There are also opportunities for those who wish to donate fewer hours of their time. They can help out by baking treats for the snack bar or assisting with the BloodMobile a few times per year.
Storrer said the auxiliary is also working on revamping the Loving Arms program — an on-call volunteer opportunity for people who would like to assist with infants and toddlers or older individuals with special needs.
“It’s anyone who just needs a little company,” she said. “The woman who is helping me with the Loving Arms program was called in at 3 a.m. one morning. There was a woman, a single mother, who needed someone to sit with her kids while she could get taken care of. It can also be coming in and taking the time to read for an hour to someone who just had eye surgery, or someone who just needs someone to talk to and visit with them.”
This is an exciting time to join the auxiliary, Storrer said, as the organization will be celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2020.
“There are some auxiliaries that are just starting off, and this auxiliary has gotten the gold award, which is the highest award you can get in the state of Kansas, almost every year since it began,” Storrer said. “It takes a lot of work to get that award.”
Storrer said auxiliary volunteers all undergo a basic background check prior to being given an assignment.
Anyone with questions about the auxiliary prior to Thursday’s membership drive can call Storrer at 343-6800, ext. 2525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.