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December 23, 2009 > Washington Hospital Volunteers Make a Real Difference

Washington Hospital Volunteers Make a Real Difference

Whether you're a young adult, a retiree, or somewhere in between, Washington Hospital's Volunteer Services Department is actively recruiting people in our community to become a member of its Service League. More than 500 people are involved in volunteering at the hospital and the Washington Hospital Service League offers one of the most active and diverse volunteer programs in the Bay Area.

"With so many volunteer areas to choose from, there is ample opportunity to do something you truly enjoy," says Anna Elola, Director of Volunteer Services at Washington Hospital. "Volunteers at Washington Hospital contribute thousands of in-service hours each year in such positions as cuddling special care babies, assisting patients who are going into treatment at Washington Radiation Oncology Center, playing the baby grand piano in the lobby, and helping visitors find answers to their health-related questions in the Community Health Resource Library."

Building for the Future

As Washington Hospital expands its services and begins construction on several projects to accommodate the growing population in our community; the Service League is expanding as well and is actively recruiting volunteers that can bring something unique to their team.

"Washington Hospital volunteers make the time to give something back to the community, and by doing so, receive an enriching gift in return - the knowledge that each volunteer is making a positive difference," adds Elola. "This is an exciting time to join us. The Washington Hospital Service League has been here for more than 50 years and is looking for people to be part of the next 50!"

Flexible Hours That Fit Into Your Schedule

The Service League is always looking for new adult members who are looking for an opportunity to volunteer on the days and times that work best for you. By implementing a very successful random staffing program, volunteers don't have to make a long term commitment to a set schedule. Volunteers can conveniently sign up online for the date and time that fits into their own busy schedules.

"By giving our volunteers the flexibility to set their own schedules and choose the specific department they want to spend their time, we are creating an environment that makes volunteering more enjoyable," says Elola. "Volunteers can now plan and prepare ahead of time for their specific shift - which ultimately makes their experience more valuable."

Elola says that by allowing volunteers the ability to randomly set their own schedules, the Service League members are meeting more of their fellow volunteers and training in more areas of the hospital.

"Our volunteers are expanding their horizons and are participating in new endeavors, which has created a lot of positive enthusiasm around the hospital," she says. "By keeping things fresh and interesting, we're retaining some great people and we're always on the look out for more people that want to join us."
One person that has found volunteering to be an important pursuit is the current President of the Washington Hospital Service League, Marina Jordan. Jordan started volunteering at the hospital in 2005 with the goal of reaching out to people in need. Always passionate about health care, Jordan says its one of the best decisions she's ever made in her life.

"I feel quite blessed in life and I wanted to give something back and do great things for other people," Jordan says. "All it takes for me is for one person to say 'Thank You' - there aren't enough words or ways to repay you when you do something nice for someone."

Out of Work? Help Yourself by Helping Others!

If you lost your job and need something to do while you look for work, volunteering at Washington Hospital can help you feel useful during a time of transition.

"The Service League has made a special effort to recruit unemployed people during these difficult times," says Elola. "We have been fortunate to find people from a variety of occupations that have shared their skills with our patient, visitors, staff and community."

Elola says that random staffing is especially helpful for people that fall into this group because it allows volunteers to continue their job search and she hopes that once people do go back to work, they will still be able to find the time to come back and volunteer at the hospital.

Become a Washington Hospital Volunteer

If you are interested in joining the Washington Hospital Service League, you are invited to attend a monthly volunteer information session at Washington Hospital where you will be informed about current volunteer opportunities and requirements for volunteering. Applications are provided at the information session. Volunteers who meet the health, age and background screening requirements must attend an orientation to learn about the hospital's mandatory safety program.

The next volunteer information session will take place on Friday, January 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, Rooms A & B, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. No appointment is necessary. Just drop in! If you are unable to attend, please call the Volunteer Services Department at (510) 791-3465. For more information about becoming a Washington Hospital volunteer, visit us online at

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