Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice, and support to causes they care about in their hospital and community. This year’s annual week of recognition is April 19-25.
Volunteers’ stories can serve to inspire others to find ways to take action that creates change. During this time, many California hospital volunteer programs have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the work of hospital volunteers continues. Although volunteers may not physically be in the hospital , here are some of the ways they are supporting their hospitals and communities during this crisis:
- Handwriting thank you notes to hospital physicians and nurses
- Identifying local restaurants that are willing to donate food to hospital staff
- Donating blood
- Creating greeting cards for patients
- Keeping staff fueled by creating and delivering “snack packs” with candy, chips, nuts, etc. to each department within the hospital
- Providing employee food pantries with perishable items, allowing employees who are unable to get to the store to have what they need
- Connecting and staying in touch via social media outlets
- Virtually recording stories for patients
- Making face masks and shields for hospital staff
- Checking in and assisting neighbors as needed
It is uncertain times like these when the value of volunteers is truly immeasurable.
National Volunteer Week has traditionally been a time of celebration, to honor and pay recognition to the thousands of volunteers supporting California hospitals, but this year many activities have been canceled and/or postponed until further notice.
CAHHS Volunteer Services thanks all California hospital volunteers for your heroism, dedication, and the impact you continue to make day in and day out to support your hospital and your community. We look forward to your return. Until then, email your Volunteer Week photos or videos for our gallery and Facebook to [email protected].
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead