From reduced risk of depression and stress to new friendships, it’s no wonder one in four Americans volunteer their time in some capacity. “I volunteer for the hot chocolate,” joked Doug Young, Guest Services volunteer for Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. “Seriously though, I enjoy the satisfaction of helping people. That is why I volunteer, but the hot chocolate is awesome!”
Besides hot chocolate, there are plenty of other reasons to volunteer, including the new Roving Wayfinder program at Mission Hospital. The program allows volunteers the opportunity to roam with a purpose as they search for patients and visitors who might need assistance navigating the facility. “Mission Hospital is a big place, especially if it’s your first visit,” said Susan Sexton, a Mission Hospital volunteer. “I love being a Roving Wayfinder because it allows me to stay active as I search for patients and visitors who might need help finding their way around our facility.”
If a Roving Wayfinder program isn’t your “cup of hot chocolate,” Mission Hospital also offers a pet therapy program called Paws On A Mission. “Our pet therapy program boasts nearly 50 dog teams that visit over 30 hospital departments each week,” said Mandi Fritts, Volunteer Engagement Consultant for Mission Hospital. “Pet therapy can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Studies have even shown that the presence of animals can have a positive effect on human physiology. Most of all, these furry friends can make one feel loved and at ease.”
Whether you have a certified therapy dog or want to serve as one of the programs “leashless” volunteers who assist the dog teams during visits, Mission Hospital has several very rewarding positions open within the program that are guaranteed to warm your heart and soul.
Mission Hospital is also looking to increase its volunteer team as the completion of the new Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine in Asheville draws near. The new hospital addition will include more patient rooms and a state-of-the-art emergency department that will more than double in size, resulting in shorter wait times. Volunteers will be needed to assist patients and their families around the new facility.
“Volunteering at Mission Hospital is always a rewarding experience,” said Fritts. “Not only do our volunteers say they benefit from the experience, but the feedback we receive from our patients and visitors confirm they benefit as well.”
Mission Hospital also offers additional volunteer opportunities for high school and college students, opportunities for home crafts and sewing, including over 40 programs for adults. With over 300 volunteers each giving more than 261 volunteer hours each year, there’s never been a more exciting time to give back to the patients and visitors of Mission Hospital.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Mission Hospital or to apply, visit missionhealth.org/volunteer or call 828-213-1057.