Lois Stoffle: Why I volunteer
April 12, 2013
On a day in August 1973, when the entrance of The Memorial Hospital was on Tucker Street, I had an appointment for an interview. I was to see the director of nursing for a possible job as a nurses' aide. Having been in Craig for little more than a month, I didn't know anyone with whom I could leave my 3 1/2-year-old daughter for the afternoon, so I brought her with me.
Upon entering the lobby of the hospital, I was greeted by a lady wearing a pink smock. She asked who I was there to see and called the office to alert them that I had arrived for my appointment. I told my little girl, Anne, to sit quietly on a chair and play with her doll and the book we had brought along. The lady at the desk asked if Anne could sit with her while I was gone. She produced some crayons and a coloring book, and Anne quickly made friends with Mrs. Mildred Robinette, who was the front desk volunteer. I proceeded to my appointment in a calm, relaxed manner, knowing that my daughter was in good hands, and I could concentrate on my interview.
The interview went well, and I was hired as a nurses' aide. Being that I had no experience as an aide, I was to attend the nurses' aide training classes that were to begin the following week at the hospital. In the meantime, I was to start working in two days and follow one of the experienced aides and assist her with her patients. I had a job!
As I was leaving the hospital, I thanked Mrs. Robinette for taking care of my daughter. She assured me that the pleasure had been all hers as Anne had been a very good little girl. What a wonderful experience I had upon entering the hospital for the first time: A lovely lady, with a welcoming smile, dressed in a pink smock, ready to assist anyone who walked in the door. I told my husband that evening, that when I "grew up" and our children were grown, I wanted to be just like Mrs. Robinette, a "pink lady" volunteer at The Memorial Hospital and hopefully also have pretty white hair, just like hers.
Since retiring from my "real" job at Yampa Valley Electric Association, I have been volunteering at the hospital for several years. My first position was in the business office for one day a week, helping with filing and making copies and such. I was able to assist the business office ladies for several years but had to take a "leave of absence" last year due to my husband's illness. With the Haven Assisted Living Center in Hayden offering adult day care, I have been able to return to the TMH volunteer program two days a month.
I enjoy volunteering at The Memorial Hospital, as it makes me feel good. I get a real sense of satisfaction being able to give back something to the place that has been, and is, so good to me, my family and the entire community. I can give something that a lot of working people can't: the time needed to volunteer. I believe that my time benefits me as much as the hospital!
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Now here it is, forty years later, and I have white hair, and I am at the front desk of The Memorial Hospital in Craig assisting the concierge in greeting visitors and patients coming to our hospital. All thanks to that wonderful volunteer Mrs. Mildred Robinette.