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Volunteer profile: Sandy Brown, Garden Cafe, Pardee Hospital

Sandy Brown, with fellow volunteer Bob Walrath, at the Garden Cafe at Pardee Hospital. Sandy Brown, with fellow volunteer Bob Walrath, at the Garden Cafe at Pardee Hospital.

Sandy Brown

Pardee Hospital

What do you do in your volunteer job?

I volunteer in the Garden Café at Pardee Hospital. We wait on the customers-some are staff, and some are family members of patients who are either in surgery or in the hospital. I am also in Workshop 1 at Pardee. We make Teddy Bears for children who come to Pardee as patients via our 3 local Urgent Care facilities, the Emergency Department or those who are having surgery. I also make Christmas Stockings for babies born at Pardee during the holiday season. I also help with our outside sales events-including the Masquerade Sale, Shoe Sales and Collective Goods (formerly Books are Fun).

How long have you been volunteering?

I retired from my job in Florida, moved to Hendersonville in December of 1997 and began volunteering at Pardee Hospital in January of 1998 and I have been here since that time. Many years earlier, I was also a Candy Striper in a Florida hospital for 3 years while I was in high school.

 

Why do you volunteer?
I want to make the customer’s visit as pleasant as it can be. Often family members are very stressed over loved ones who are in surgery or in the hospital. I am the calming presence for those folks. I enjoy working with people and meeting new people. Volunteering keeps my mind active and provides social engagement.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

“The people. I have met many people who are very nice. I enjoy helping other people. The walking that I do while I am volunteering is beneficial to me as well. I also want to ‘give back’ to my community.”

If someone is interested in volunteering, what is the best advice you would give based on your own experience?

“You have to be positive, you have to be willing to understand other’s needs. Being flexible is a must. You have to be willing to work in different circumstances with a variety of people and accept change, because nothing stays the same forever.”