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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Volunteer Week underway

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Melba Arrington is one of Fulton County Hospital's six volunteers. She dedicates two days a week to helping the hospital staff with their many tasks. Volunteers are always needed and appreciated at FCH. Photo by Amanda Powers
National Volunteer Week is a chance for those who can to get out and help in their communities. But, volunteers are needed year round, not just for one week a year.

For some it is hard to find the time to do normal functions like eat and sleep, but there are so many out there who could spare an hour or two to help someone in need. Volunteering can sometimes be just as helpful to the volunteers themselves.

Established by former President Richard Nixon, National Volunteer Week started in 1974. This year's theme is Celebrating People In Action, which is exactly what Fulton County Hospital would like to do during volunteer week which is April 19-25.

"FCH depends on volunteers to provide assistance for the patients, their families and hospital staff. Whether you're a retiree wanting to give back to the community, a student hoping to fulfill a service requirement or just have a simple desire to help others during your free time, there's a wide array of opportunities at FCH," according to the FCH volunteers group.

Volunteer Coordinator Pam Johnson said the hospital currently has six volunteers, which has grown by three since November 2008. "We are always recruiting volunteers," she said.

Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. The hospital requires volunteers to have a current TB skin test, go through hospital orientation, follow all hospital policies and procedures and undergo a criminal background check.

High school students who would like to volunteer must have two letters of recommendations, on letterhead, from their teachers.

All hospital volunteers are asked to volunteer for at least one three-hour shift per week. It is asked that if possible the shift be worked the same day and time each week. Weekday, evening and weekend shifts are available.

The FCH Volunteers are sponsoring a fundraiser the week of April 27 through May 1 which will be held in the front entrance of the hospital. There will be a raffle for a handmade queen size quilt, which was donated. There will also be Home Interior candles and Park Lane jewelry for sale. "Not only will this help the volunteer department, it is just in time for Mother's Day," Johnson said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the purchase of a television for the emergency room waiting area.

Melba Arrington works two days a week as a volunteer at FCH. She said she read about the need for volunteers in a November issue of The News.

Arrington moved here about seven years ago, her husband was in the nursing home and she has a daughter in the area. After her husband passed away, Arrington filled her time helping care for her grandchildren, but when the youngest one started school she found herself idle again.

She said she wanted to give back to the community so she decided to volunteer. "I love it, it's so rewarding to come and do something to help," she said. "I wish I could do more -- I help at the church at the food room and things like that, too."

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