How much do volunteers add to a hospital?

I was not the patient – therefore, I was the one who observed all of the little “extras” that went on behind the scenes.  What an eye-opener!

We always choose Branson, MO for our vacation destination for one simple reason – Southern Hospitality!  Branson has earned a blue ribbon as far as we are concerned.  The folks there have a genuine gift for displaying “down-home charm”.  Frankly, I always wondered if it was just “put-on” as part of their “show”.  After we spent a week in their hospital, I was convinced, these folks are not “put on” – they are the real deal.  They really care.

The volunteers at Skaggs Hospital go above and beyond the call of duty.  A few times during our stay I saw them make my husband smile.  That was priceless to me. 

I first noticed the volunteers while I was sitting in the waiting room.  A lady wearing a little blue jacket adorned with all sorts of pins and an identification badge came into the waiting room.  She was carrying a rather large basket.  It struck me as cute, because I’m sure the woman must have been a grandmother.  She looked happy and upbeat as she meticulously arranged the contents of the basket on a tray.  They were cookies!!! They were not cookies out of a package from the grocery store either. They were HOMEMADE cookies!!!  

My curiosity got the better of me and I had to go check them out and start talking to her.  She was more than happy to take a little time to talk with me.  She told me that every morning she brings in a large basket of homemade cookies for the families of those going in for surgery.  I could tell immediately that she understood how important the task she performed was, and how far-reaching it was. 

She said, “Folks who are waiting for someone they love to come out of surgery need a little taste of home, not some packaged cookies from the grocery store!”

What a sense of purpose.  Such a seemingly small thing to do – but wow, what an impact it made on those in that waiting room!  I got the sense that she poured her all into what she did.  She obviously loved and cared for others.  This was her mission and her way of showing love and concern for the families.  

Later in the week, another lady wearing a little blue jacket came into the hospital room carrying a guitar.  “Is there a song you would like to hear?”, she asked.  We requested a couple of hymns and as she played we listened.  We had a chat about music and she joked that what she did would be much more difficult if she had to push a piano around with her instead of carrying a guitar!  Again, the love was felt. 

The healing properties of love outweigh any other medicine known to man.

All of these “little things” added up to one very successful outcome!  Healing through positive feedback and prayer – and love.  Just love.

Since we were there for such a long while, I silently watched the interaction between the staff and the volunteers.  There was a mutual respect that I had never seen anywhere else.  The doctors, nurses, volunteers and other staff – they had a common goal and worked together to meet it.  Their main goal is to help the patient heal.

Their secret weapon to make that happen was…  love!!!

Everyone at Skaggs in Branson was wonderful, but the volunteers in blue jackets were my favorite!  They made the entire experience bearable for us. 

One positive stepping stone at a time, we keep walking.

Thank you to the ladies in the blue jackets – you made everything better!

I wish you joy for your journey today…  and love.  Just love. ❤