Why did you select Cleveland Clinic for Volunteer Service?
As a former college professor, I was used to interaction with a lot of people and wanted to do the same in a volunteer capacity. As a person treated at various times at the Clinic personally, as well as having family members treated there, I was very familiar with the Clinic and looked upon the chance to be a part of it as very desirable.
My six years at Cleveland Clinic have offered me interaction with others, pride in affiliation with such a prestigious organization, and great personal satisfaction with the appreciation and respect that full-time Clinic personnel have shown to their volunteers. As a side note, my wife has recently become a volunteer also, working as a Spiritual Care volunteer. We both feel very satisfied to be of service to patients and visitors.
What do you enjoy most about your Volunteer Service?
Being really useful to others. Hardly anyone comes to Cleveland Clinic for fun, and as Dr. Cosgrove once said at one of our meetings, "Most who come here are scared." To help guide others, to ease their way around this huge complex, to make new friends with many Cleveland Clinic caregivers sends me home each week with a feeling of "I was really useful and helpful today." I have always felt that I get more from volunteering than I give.
Share a story where you felt your Volunteer Service made an impact.
Often I see people coming down the walkway from the garage with their appointment papers in hand, utterly confused, perhaps a bit overwhelmed, looking all around like deer in the headlights, and I call them over to the desk, greet them with a big smile and ask how I may help them. After they are underway, relaxed, smiling and saying "Thank you very much," I think that it doesn't get much better than that. I made a difference for those people. Calling the shuttle for folks who really need a ride down that long Skyway does the same.
What would you say to someone who might be interested in volunteering at Cleveland Clinic?
If you are thinking of becoming a Clinic volunteer, I urge you to get in touch with Volunteer Services and give it a try. Whatever skill or background you possess, this place is large enough and has enough variety to fit you. I would be glad to talk with you personally about my Cleveland Clinic volunteer experience.