JOPLIN, Mo. — They may not be on the payroll – but they play an important role in the day-to-day operations at Mercy Hospital Joplin. And all this week, hospital officials are saying, thank you to their numerous volunteers.
Rex Hunt has been a volunteer at the catholic hospital in Joplin for 12 years and is starting his fourth year as President of the Mercy Hospital Joplin Auxiliary. He spends as many as four days and up to 20 hours a week there without any pay. His only regret, he didn’t start volunteering sooner.
Rex Hunt, President, Mercy Auxiliary, said, “My wife tried to get me to do this 20 years ago when I first retired cause she’s been doing this for 32 years, and I said no, I have other things I need to do, well, they talked me into it and then the rest is just like I say, I truly enjoy every minute of it here.”
April18th through the 24th is National Volunteer Week. As the former director of the hospital’s volunteer program, Lisa Blythe used to get paid to coordinate that group. So what is she doing in her retirement, volunteering for them.
Lisa Blythe, Former Mercy Auxiliary Volunteer Director, said, “They play a wonderful role here, everywhere from working in the gift shop, to manning the entrances, giving information to the patients, on a normal month they would easily give about 18 equivalent hours for the hospital.”
There’s always volunteer opportunities here at Mercy Hospital Joplin, you can volunteer as few hours or as many hours as you’d like.
“It’s a very rewarding uh when you interact with all the patients and the people coming in, it’s just a the Mercy people themselves, the co-workers themselves treat us very well, I mean it’s like family when you walk in through the front doors here,” said Hunt.
“It’s wonderful for the volunteer themselves to be able to socialize, have a reason to get out of the house, especially if they’re retired, build some friendships here, I think it’s just a good opportunity for both the volunteers as well as the facility,” said Blythe.