This week, National Volunteer Week, provides us with a formal occasion to recognize volunteers at CHOC Children’s. But not a day goes by that CHOC staff, physicians, patients, families and I don’t recognize the important work that volunteers do here.
CHOC is so lucky to have more than 1,100 awesome volunteers who spend more than 9,000 hours a month providing services ranging from office work to cuddling tiny babies.
I want to introduce you to one volunteer in particular: Betty Keith. She and I became friends in 1983, when she first started volunteering at CHOC. Thirty years later, Betty still volunteers once a week and has logged more than 19,400 hours at CHOC.
Q: When did you start volunteering at CHOC and why?
A: I started in June 1983. I love children and I wanted to help them as much as I could.
Q: Tell me about the various work and roles you’ve performed in your time at CHOC.
A: I’ve been all over. I worked in the volunteer office, filed papers in the associate health department, and helped in the gift shop. I’ve worked on the floors, answered phones in the administrative office, and worked with cancer research. I’ve done a lot. All the employees and other volunteers I’ve met through the years are wonderful.
Q: CHOC sure has changed since you first started, right?
A: Oh, my goodness. It has changed so much. It’s a beautiful hospital.
Q: Have you volunteered at other places too?
A: The most important to me is CHOC, but I also volunteered at the city clerk’s office, the library, the Sergerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory. I first helped in my kids’ schools. Helping children was important to me, and my husband didn’t want me going out into the working field. I had to do something.
Q: How much longer can CHOC count on your service?
A: I have told everyone that I was going to quit at 20,000 hours. Volunteering keeps you going. You’re getting paid indirectly by the help you give and the satisfaction you get.
Q: When you’re not at CHOC, what else do you like to do in your free time?
A: I go to Bible study, and go to the movies once a week with friends and out to lunch. I have two children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Thank you for your tens of thousands of hours of service, Betty! Learn more about volunteer services at CHOC.