Tanner Hopes to Increase Ranks of Volunteers as it Celebrates National Volunteer Week April 6-12
Posted Date: 4/1/2014
National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, was established with an executive order in 1974 as a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers. This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, which has become a nationwide effort to urge people to get out and volunteer in their communities. It is an inspiring time to both recognize the many volunteers who make a difference and to encourage more people to volunteer their time and talents.
Tanner Health System, whose base of volunteers usually numbers around 300, is looking for generous residents with spare time to help serve throughout its hospitals.
Now, with a decline in recent months in the number of active volunteers, the nonprofit health system is reaching out to area residents who are interested in getting involved in serving their community.
“Some of our volunteers have developed health problems that have made it hard for them to continue contributing,” said Jeanette Wheeler, director of volunteer services for Tanner. “Others have moved away.”
Last year, Tanner volunteers assisted in almost 50 departments throughout the organization—including at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, Higgins General Hospital in Bremen and at Willowbrooke at Tanner. Those volunteers contributed more than 65,000 hours of service.
Some had volunteered for only a few weeks; others had more than 35 years of service as a volunteer with Tanner.
“Our volunteers are a broad cross section of our community,” said Wheeler. “They come from very diverse backgrounds and they volunteer for very different reasons. They’re educators, executives, engineers and more. Some enjoy the social aspects of volunteering—making friends and getting to see them on a regular basis at the hospital. Others have been touched by Tanner in some way and use this as their way of giving back.”
Volunteers are needed throughout the health system, with many opportunities available in Carrollton, Villa Rica and Bremen. Some assignments have a great deal of patient contact and interaction, while others have very limited patient contact. Volunteers serve in multiple sites at each facility and in a variety of roles, from serving in gift shops and at information desks to escorting patients and visitors throughout the facilities and assisting in clerical duties.
Wheeler said part of her goal is to attract recent retirees and stay-at-home mothers into volunteering.
“We’d love to reach the people who find themselves with extra time and an opportunity to get involved,” Wheeler said. “People who have recently retired and those who are primary caretakers for their children bring very unique skills to the hospitals, and this is a great way to give back to the community.”
To begin volunteering, prospective volunteers only need to click Volunteer and complete a brief online application. A background check also is conducted to ensure that volunteers can safely serve throughout the health system. More information about volunteering is also available by calling 770.836.9251.