LAURINBURG — Some 50 people, their names not followed by “M.D.” or “R.N.,” were recognized on Wednesday for their service to Scotland Health Care System.
In 2013, the hospital’s 72 regular adult volunteers performed 32,003 hours of work for the hospital, the equivalent of 15 full-time employees, in the outpatient department, thrift shop, gift shop, and elsewhere.
“They’re the most dependable, reliable, committed people I’ve ever met in my life,” said volunteer services manager Nancy Rogers. “They worry that if they miss their job for a week, I’ll replace them with somebody else.”
Volunteers attending Wednesday evening’s banquet were recognized for the total hours served during their volunteer careers, with Bobby Lowery of Laurinburg devoting more than 7,000 hours to the hospital in 10 years.
“Bobby is one of the most outgoing volunteers that we have, and everybody jokes and picks on him,” Rogers said. “He’s always willing to help people in outpatient. He runs it down there and he does a really good job.”
Known among hospital staff and volunteers for his irrepressible sense of humor, Lowery reflected on his experiences as a volunteer for the health care system.
“I delivered too many babies and I’m starting to do some brain surgery now,” he said.
“It was something to do rather than standing around the house all the time. I enjoy it, seeing different people and wheeling them to their car.”
During Wednesday’s banquet, Rogers read a story called “The Wisest Owl,” and described how the hospital’s volunteers exemplify the traits needed to live a full life. The volunteer auxiliary board also presented owl-themed gifts to each volunteer in attendance.
Jean Millard, who received a 1,000-hour pin on Wednesday, began working at the hospital alongside her husband, and has continued for three years since his death. Millard spends four hours one day each week at the hospital’s front desk, providing directions and information to visitors.
“I think single people and single elderly women should spend time helping others and being with others, not being at home sitting doing nothing twiddling their thumbs,” she said. “I can’t remember how long I’ve been doing this, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
The health care system also has a vibrant volunteer program for teens during the summer months, with 50 participants each year typically providing about 75 hours of service each.
Hospice of Scotland County volunteers, who worked 6,500 hours in 2013, will be honored in a separate banquet tonight.
Those interested in volunteering with Scotland Health Care System should contact Rogers at 910-291-7314.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.