It takes a lot of people to keep McLean operating 24/7, 365 days a year—including more than 90 volunteers who serve important roles throughout the hospital. During National Volunteer Week, a nationwide event that provides an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service held April 7 to April 13, McLean will recognize these important members of our community.
“McLean volunteers conduct themselves with unwavering integrity, demonstrate compassion and respect for our patients, their families, and colleagues, and foster an environment that has embraced diversity and promotes teamwork,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief for McLean. As a gift of gratitude for their volunteer service, Rauch will present each volunteer with a gift certificate to the McLean cafeteria.
Carol Brown, McLean’s coordinator of Volunteer Services, echoed Rauch’s sentiments. “Our volunteers are earth angels,” she said. “They don’t get paid, but they dig in and help out.”
Brown explained that McLean’s volunteers hail from all walks of life. “We have college students, high school students, men and women from the local community, clergy, and many former patients,” she said.
Brown said that volunteer roles at the hospital include “greeters in the administration building, peer educators, and much more” and that their contributions “are very important to the patients and the staff, but they don’t do it for recognition, they do it because they want to give back.”
Janice Howe, who is coming up on her third year of volunteering at McLean, is an example of the kind of selfless and humble individual who devotes her time and skills to helping the hospital. Howe works on the gift cart, which sells items to support the Cole Resource Center in its work to aid individuals in their recovery and reintegration into the community.
“It’s been a joy,” Howe said of her volunteer work. “Last year, we raised about $5,000 for the Cole Center through the gift cart. Every little bit adds up!”
Howe got involved in McLean after her husband passed away a few years ago and she relocated to Belmont. While walking near her new home by the hospital grounds, Howe inquired about volunteer opportunities and soon found herself working on the gift cart. When she’s not at McLean, you can find her at the Belmont Senior Center, helping set up lunches for seniors and drawing on her nursing background to conduct blood pressure tests.
Although she is humble about her contributions, Howe feels that it is important to share stories of volunteerism. “If you let people know that volunteering is such an important part of our communities, maybe more people will do it,” she said.