RIVER FALLS, Wis.
Voluntary work performed by the River Falls Area Hospital volunteers and auxiliary members totaled 11,729 hours in 2015. That’s 225 hours a week – or the equivalent of 5.6 full time employees. In addition to the voluntary hours donated to the hospital, employees of River Falls Area Hospital provided a further 2,656 hours of volunteerism in the community, contributing to a total of 14,385 volunteer hours served in River Falls.
It’s just one reason among many that River Falls Area Hospital, part of Allina Health, celebrates its volunteer workforce during National Volunteer Week (April 10-16).
“From the friendly, welcoming faces at the front desk and gift kiosk, to the financial support of programs such as the sleep sacks available to the families of newborns, our volunteers touch and transform lives,” said hospital president David Miller. “We see daily how our volunteers step in where there’s a gap, welcoming and guiding patients and visitors around the campus and meeting needs in practical ways.”
Miller and Allina Health CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler send a note of appreciation to all volunteers during the appreciation week and other forms of recognition, such as the volunteer holiday tea and auxiliary picnic, are held throughout the year.
River Falls Area Hospital is always keen to hear from community members who would like to get involved with its volunteer program. Opportunities range from greeting at the hospital front desk and serving at the gift kiosk to organizing fundraising events and crafting projects, such as knitting caps for cancer patients or hats for babies born in the Birth Center.
Erin Jennings, volunteer services coordinator, said: “Our volunteers each have their own unique gift to share with our patients, families, and our community. Many times a volunteer doesn’t know exactly what it is they are bringing to the table when they apply to the volunteer program – they just feel called to volunteer. It is always heart-warming when a volunteer finds their niche, that thing that really makes an impact for a patient, family member, or staff member and at the same time reminds the volunteer how needed and appreciated they are.”
Wisconsin now ranks third in the nation for volunteerism (up from fifth last year), with 35.4 percent of residents reporting that they volunteer in their community. That’s 1.5 million citizens, contributing 147.5 million hours of service and $3.4 billion of services.
Anyone interested in volunteering at River Falls Area Hospital can call Erin Jennings at 715-307-6029, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit allinahealth.org/RiverFallsVolunteer and fill out the online application. Most schedules and availability can be accommodated.