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What I learned when we recruited for a Manager of Volunteer Services

 We’re fortunate to have many volunteers at the hospital who come in to help and to make a difference throughout the hospital – of course I know that.  What I didn’t know is just how committed these folks are to lending a hand and wanting to help people. 


During the transition and recruitment of a new Manager of Volunteer Services, Foundation staff has been filling in to guide new volunteers through the onboarding process, helping with any issues that arise and trying not to “rock the boat” as they say.  We offered an open door for any suggestions, problems or concerns anyone wanted to share.  What I saw and experienced blew me away:


Mike started with a new falls prevention program that was rolled out a year ago to make sure patients had the necessary tools and education to reduce their risk of falling.  It’s challenging for a volunteer to go on to a nursing unit, interact with staff they don’t know well and work in a clinical setting they’re not familiar with; the program takes training.  Mike came by to tell us that he didn’t think there’s quite enough training and support provided in the early stages for a volunteer… so he volunteered to be that contact person and help coach our new volunteers in this area.  He didn’t bring a problem forward, he brought a solution.


We had a big mailing that was delayed with printing and had to be prepped for mail right away.  Gail got the call, drove in that afternoon to pick up all the pieces and brought back 1,200 letters ready for mailing the very next morning.  She didn’t say I can’t help, she asked how fast she needed to get them done.


Judy had knee surgery and yet she came by to make sure we were alright with our projects – she’s working on the press clippings for our archives from home.  Judy was keeping her volunteer duties in the forefront.


The new semester at SUNY started which meant lots of new students wanting to volunteer for the next few months.  Volunteers like Ella, John and Carol said yes to taking the time to train these newbies and getting them ready to help out.  They could have declined but instead they’re supporting fellow volunteers and helping our program grow.


And then there’s Mary Ann who called me to remind me of the upcoming group interviews and that she’d be there to help out.  She even walked me through how to run the interviews!


The examples of dedication to the volunteer program go on and on.  Are we fortunate to have volunteers to lend a hand at CVPH?  Sure we are.  But we’re more fortunate that we have volunteers who are willing to take the extra step to make things better, who genuinely care and whole-heartedly commit to giving back.  Thank you for being part of our team and for letting us be part of you. 


If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, contact our new Manager of Volunteer Services, Sarah Hardy, at the Volunteer Office at (518) 562-7595, or visit our website at


Kerry Haley