LUMBERTON — Last year, about 150 adult volunteers donated nearly 14,500 hours of their time, and by doing so saved Southeastern Health $420,000 in expenses and extended its outreach.
“Our volunteers take compassion to the next level,” said Alisia Oxendine, Guest Services director. “And they also give the people in our communities better access to care.”
“A number of volunteers logged 12,000 miles — using their own cars — ferrying area residents to and from medical appointments last year that they otherwise might have missed because of a lack of transportation,” said the Rev. Dean Carter, Pastoral Care coordinator.
This outreach is the result of Compassion for U Congregational Wellness Network, a faith-based program that relies on volunteers to address local health issues. Carter launched it at Southeastern Health, a lead partner. Locally, 21 churches and 15 organizations have joined forces to organize events that range from medication giveaways for those in need to free health screenings and CPR training.
Some volunteers soothe newborns in distress while others provide spiritual care. Many comfort those near death in nursing homes or help out at Southeastern Hospice House. In any setting, it’s a special way to give. Still, for the right volunteer, it’s so gratifying that many help out for years.
“As the only not-for-profit hospice agency in our county, we serve every patient and family who wants and needs our services, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Sheryl Taylor, Volunteer Program leader for Southeastern Hospice. “The work of The Friends of Hospice committee, which is made up of volunteers, is vital to help raise the funds we need to ensure that all patients have everything they need.”
Some of the most motivated volunteers at Southeastern Health are also some of the youngest. SeHealth’s 2018 Junior Volunteers began on Wednesday with a full day of orientation as part of a six-week teen summer volunteer program. Like their adult counterparts, teen volunteers “help support our medical staff so they can rapidly tend to patients’ needs,” said Janna Osman, supervisor for Volunteer Services.
Call Osman at 910-671-5093 about volunteer opportunities or for more information.