About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Want to volunteer? Try the hospital

To get a sense of how important volunteers are to local hospitals, check out the story here in today’s paper by my colleague, Cathy Dyson. It is about the elderly volunteers at Mary Washington Hospital. Cathy reports that one-third of the hospital’s volunteers are 81 and older. Ruth Spratt, the oldest, is 92.

Ruth Spratt, 92, is the oldest volunteer at MWH (Photo by Mike Morones).

A sampling:  “The hospital also has junior volunteers, teenagers formerly known as candy stripers, who help out in the summer. College students who want to make sure they can stand the sight of blood also put in time. But throughout the year, the bulk of volunteer work is done by those old enough to be in the wheelchairs they push.”

At Spotsylvania Regional, Jeanne Burkett, marketing leader, reported this week that volunteers there have logged 10,000 hours of donated time in less than five months after opening. That’s an average of more than 70 hours per day. Twenty-three people have given more than 100 hours each, and four people have contributed more than 200 hours each. 

The 180 volunteers have been from Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, Louisa, Stafford, Prince William and Fredericksburg. Volunteers can be found at the information desk, gift shop, ER and other departments.  For more about Spotsylvania’s volunteer program, call 540/498-4142.