Not all hospital volunteers work at the hospital. Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge has several volunteers who work from home, such as Edwyna Styles, June Jepson, Margaret McGee, and Susan Fretts.
Many of the home volunteers were once very active on campus, but health problems have forced them to slow down. They didn’t want to give up their work, though.
In 1993, Edwyna Styles had a heart attack. She had worked as a nurse in the local health department, in a doctor’s office, in an emergency services facility, and in a human resources department. But after her heart attack, Edwyna decided to switch gears and become a volunteer, and at one point served as president of the Volunteer Board of Directors. Health problems again forced Edwyna to rethink her volunteerism. She began knitting and crocheting in 2013.
“Edwyna was a nurse at Grace Hospital and was a very active volunteer for many years,” said Susan Pollpeter, the soon-to-be-retired Volunteer Services Director. “Now at home, she makes baby caps and baby blankets for our newborns. Also, prayer shawls, shoulder capelets, lap blankets and toboggans are made for our patients with special needs.”
June Jepson and her husband moved to Valdese from Connecticut in 1994 to be closer to their family. Shortly thereafter, she began to work as a volunteer at Valdese Hospital. She worked at the gift shop, in guest services and filled in wherever she was needed.
A couple of years later, June began to use her sewing talents to help others. After receiving fabric donations from a local furniture factory, she sewed decorative pillows for patients at College Pines Health and Rehabilitation Center for several years. One year, she made an astounding 117 pillows.
June then discovered knitting and crocheting and put her talents to work making baby caps and blankets for patients in the hospital. She has made these diligently throughout the years from home. She said many people have donated yarn and it just seems to keep on coming, so she continues working with these projects.
Today, June continues to make blankets from home and has given herself a goal of creating eight caps per month.
Another long-time volunteer is Margaret McGee, called one of the “matriarchs” in the Volunteer Program, with a total of 8,500 hours of service. Before becoming a volunteer, she retired from Valdese Weavers after working for 42 years in accounting.
Margaret always has a smile on her face as she has served in various capacities during her 20-plus years as a volunteer. Now at home, Margaret calls people who are sick and offers encouragement.
Susan Fretts has been a volunteer since 2012. She currently works at Belk and knits caps for the newborns at the Morganton hospital as her volunteer work.
These ladies meet the same annual learning requirements as do all other volunteers in the program. They are proof that you can volunteer while being at home, and still be of great value to an organization.
To find out more about volunteering, please call Traci Riebel at 828-580-5729.