CEO Message

Hospital Volunteers Represent the Very Best of All of Us

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Gandhi 

There’s an age-old parable that resonates every time I stop for a moment and reflect on the women and men who give selflessly to help California’s hospitals care for others. 

It goes something like this: 

There was a man taking a morning walk at the beach and saw that the tide carried in hundreds of starfish. When the tide receded, they were left, stuck on the beach, to die in the heat of the sun. The man took a few steps, picked one up, and threw it into the water. Then he did it again. And again. And again. 

 Another passerby caught up with him and asked, “What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. How many can you help? What difference does it make?” 

This man took two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into the water, and said, “It makes a difference to this one.” 

The volunteers at California’s hospitals — as well as the paid staff who oversee volunteer programs — are cut from very much the same cloth. Their actions might seem small to some, but they carry great meaning for every individual they touch. From the needleworkers who craft warm caps for newborns to the musicians who grace halls with soothing tones, to the wayfinders who help guide visitors quickly to their loved ones. 

This year, as we get ready to pause during National Volunteer Week to reflect and appreciate everything California hospital volunteers do, it is my hope that every volunteer knows that our state’s hospitals — and the people who are there for care they can get nowhere else — simply wouldn’t be the same without you. 

Thank you to all hospital volunteers, for giving of yourselves, so that others may find comfort and joy while they are being cared for.