Hospital honors volunteers’ 15th year

By ESTHER SMITH

News staff writer

May 4, 2005

Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital recently honored its volunteers and celebrated the 15-year mark of its volunteer program with a special appreciation luncheon at the Hood River Inn. More than 100 of the hospital’s 200-plus regular volunteers were presented pins in recognition of their service; many of whom had served since the beginning of the volunteer program.

The theme of the luncheon was “You are the Wind Beneath My Wings,” and the room was decorated with kites and pinwheels.

Volunteer director Lynn Berens explained that “Pinwheels will sit and do nothing until a breeze comes along — you are the breeze. You blow through the hospital and bring help wherever it’s needed.”

The program was begun in 1990 when the late Tim Simmons, then CEO, as one of his first directives asked community relations director Barbara Young to start up a volunteer program. She and Betty Callan, the first volunteer director, got busy and by the end of the year they had signed on 50 volunteers. Twenty-two of those original volunteers are still active in the program. The entire group was praised for its work ethic, dependability and cheerfulness.

“I’ve worked at a diverse range of hospitals and the volunteers at this hospital are by far the most upbeat and energetic I’ve ever known,” said James Arp, Providence Hood River’s new executive officer. “You are an amazing group. I just can’t say enough about what you do for the lives of our patients and our staff.”

The volunteers contribute in ways too numerous to count: From bake sales and bloodmobiles to tours and thrift shops. Blood pressure clinics, calling committees, dietary, disaster preparedness, fund-raising, handcrafting, pet therapy, scholarships, plant care, special mailings, recruitment, photography, pediatrics, music — the list goes on and on.

After a PowerPoint presentation of a collection of photographs through the years, the special surprise guest was revealed: Betty Callan, the original volunteer director who now lives in Yosemite, Calif.

“I hope I brought enough Kleenex today — I really do,” she said. “You all made me look so good!”

*****

For more information about being a hospital volunteer, call Lynn Berens at 387-6242.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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