Flowers Hospital seeks more volunteers, two long time volunteers share their experience

Volunteers are being celebrated across the nation for the impact they are making in communities.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 3:58 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Volunteers are being celebrated across the nation for the impact they are making in communities. Flowers Hospital gives gratitude to their volunteers, like Evelyn Theune and James Johnson.

“I try to do everything I can to help the hospital,” Theune said.

27 years ago, Theune was looking for something to fill time.

“I came here and offered to volunteer, not knowing everything I would get,” the volunteer said. “I just came to give my time.”

After nearly three decades, Theune hasn’t stopped.

“I’ve done it all,” Theune said. “I’ve delivered flowers and mail, worked hours in outpatient surgery, worked in POB (Physician Office Building), worked on the floors,” Theune said.

She said she enjoys her time here volunteering and has made many friends along the way, like Johnson.

“Some of us have been here so long we know each other backwards,” Johnson said.

Johnson is also a long time volunteer. He has donated countless hours to the hospital for over two decades.

“When people come to the hospital, it’s not a pleasure trip,” Johnson said. “You know, it’s usually for sickness or illness or something, and they are not really in such a good mood, so if we can give them a smile or a kind word, you know, it helps them and it comes back to you. When someone says how helpful you were, that’s good. That’s what we work for, that’s what we do here.”

You can find these two at the information desk every Wednesday. They are on a mission to be a light for people who face hard times.

Theune said that same positivity is returned to her.

“If I’m down in the dumps and I come here, I am right back up,” Theune said.

The two wear many hats by welcoming those who come into the hospital, assisting with directions, and answering the phone.

“Just being that link between them and the hospital,” Johnson said.

They said they achieve fulfillment while taking on each task.

“Our pay doesn’t come in cents and dollars, our pay comes in ‘Thank you,’ ‘We appreciate you,’ and ‘Job well done,’” Johnson said.

The hospital said the hours donated by Theune and Johnson is appreciated.

“We really appreciate their time and couldn’t do it without them,” Jennifer Young, volunteer coordinator and compliance officer, said.

Young said volunteers are important to the hospital and are in need of more.

“We don’t really have a lot of volunteers right now, since COVID we haven’t really bounced back to our numbers, but what we lack in number we make up for in quality,” Young said.

Both part-time and full-time shifts are available.

“We’ll take you however many hours you can give us, we will take it,” Young said. “We have some that only do a four hour shift, and we have some that are here three and four days a week, and our chaplains are actually here every day.”

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.

“Our adult volunteers are really the backbone of our program,” Young said. “We need several at the POB entrance, at the information desk, the atrium desk to help visitors with way-finding and finding patient rooms.”

There are both teen and adult programs.

“If you can do something positive, do it,” Johnson said. “Volunteering is one of the blessings that we have, and I’m a Christian. I believe in God, and once God blesses you, He wants you to spread that blessing.”

Young said the teen volunteers offer a lot of help to the nurses on the floor by being an extra set of hands and eyes on patients. The teen volunteers help patients get things they need like a blanket, drink or snack. This volunteer program gives teens the opportunity to lean more into the healthcare field.

Click here to sign up to volunteer.

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