Celebrating the Patience and Dedication of our Volunteers
When the observation of National Volunteer Week rolled around a year ago, no one could have imagined we would go a full year without the vital presence of our dedicated volunteers. Our talented squad of volunteers has waited patiently, knowing that hospital leadership has put the safety of our patients, staff and volunteers first throughout the pandemic.
Carol Yanda logged in over 951 volunteer hours before COVID-19 put her beloved weekly visits on hold, but this mom, grandma and great-grandma is ready to get back to her Thursdays at Bethany Children’s Health Center.
Carol used to drive by the hospital on a regular basis and wonder what it would be like to get involved with TCCRH. After she retired from her work as a special education and preschool teacher’s aide 11 years ago, she stopped in and applied to be a volunteer in one of our classrooms. The rest is history.
Carol loves working one-on-one with the patients, playing games and working on classroom activities. She’s bonded with patients, building precious relationships during her weekly hours. She learned about the special ways each child communicates, whether verbally or with subtle physical signs, and how much the patients love their classroom time. “I was amazed at how much we can teach the children,” she recalls. “These kids know what’s going on. They know what’s happening and it’s amazing how many different ways they can communicate.”
Like most volunteers, Carol began with a focus on giving, but realized that she receives so much from her time in the classroom. “It’s definitely rewarding,” she says. “I look forward to Thursdays – It’s the highlight of my week.”
She also considers Bethany Children’s the happiest place she’s ever worked. “The kids are happy, the people you work with are happy,” she says. “I feel respected and needed. I’m always excited to go to work there, and I can’t wait to get back!”
Carol knows that the hospital has continued to move forward over the past year and is excited to see hospital updates in person, as well as how the children have grown and progressed. When asked about how long she plans to volunteer, there’s no doubt in her mind. “As long as God will let me drive over there and do it – Yes, I will do it!”
We want to thank Carol and all of our amazing volunteers for their continued support, prayers and patience through challenging times. We appreciate each and every one, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Bethany Children’s in the near future!