Lois Stoffle: Why I volunteer
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!
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.
Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday the hiring of Dan Prenzlow as the new director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, according to a news release from CPW and Colorado Department of Natural Resources.