COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)—Piedmont Columbus Regional has had a busy week. Between honoring its 115 volunteers every day this week and the hospital’s Diamond Jubilee for it’s 60th birthday, there was a lot to celebrate.
Nancy Williams, Piedmont’s director of volunteer service and community outreach explained the hospital has hosted a special, three-hour party with a Diamond Jubilee theme for its volunteers this week. According to Williams, the goal was to make sure every volunteer got a chance to attend the festivities on the day which they normally volunteered.
“They’ve enjoyed snacks, cookies, fruit-infused water out of champagne flutes and then, of course, fellowship,” said Williams as she sat a celebration table adorned with a hot-pink tablecloth and faux diamonds. Another wall in the room had a bulletin board where volunteers posted how long they had been there and a birthday wish for the hospital on diamond-shaped colored paper.
Sue O’Dell, 84, seated next to Williams, has been volunteering at the hospital for 15 years and has volunteered just over 2,400 hours during that time. At the Tri-Community Directors of Volunteer Services awards luncheon for local non-profits that was held earlier this week, O’Dell won the Ocie Mae Harris Award for her long-time service.
“This was the very last award and I was really surprised,” O’Dell said. She recounted she knew she was a nominee but hadn’t expected it at all. According to Williams, the award is rarely won since volunteers don’t often serve as long as O’Dell has.
O’Dell explained before she was a volunteer at Piedmont Columbus Regional, she worked a civilian job at Fort Benning as supervisor of a small unit until she retired in September 2007. About three months later, she started volunteering at Piedmont, mostly in the NICU.
“I’ve folded lots of clothes, rocked babies and helped parents with their being sure they know how to wash up correctly…I’ll take them back to the bedside and introduce them to the nurse,” O’Dell said. She added she also works at the front desk in the NICU answering phones.
For O’Dell, the work is rewarding. She said, despite the heartbreak which sometimes comes with working in the NICU, it is mostly filled with “a lot of joy.” O’Dell explained she loves forming friendships with the other volunteers and helping the NICU nurses.
O’Dell expressed the benefits of volunteer work and said, “There is so much joy to giving and then seeing the wonderful things do happen because of volunteers in these areas.”
For those interested in volunteering, Williams emphasized there are many jobs at the hospital people can do in both clinical and non-clinical positions. Options like gift shop workers, greeters and more are available.
“We need volunteers,” Williams said. In June, the hospital will see the return of its youth volunteer program for the first time since the pandemic.
Those interested in Piedmont Columbus Regional’s volunteer program can contact Williams by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (706) 329-1399.