Every Thursday, five retired women give back to Rush University Medical Center, proudly donning their pink volunteer coats and radiant smiles.
Individually they are Rose Marie Monzo, Johanna Bongiorno, Marion Mitchell, Isabel Garcia and Bernice Calvin. Together, they’re known as “the Golden Girls.”
Each of them joined Volunteer Services for a different reason -– one was a patient herself, one wanted to do something useful with her time, and another volunteer’s mother was a patient at Rush for more than three months.
But after volunteering here for a total of 38 years — that’s 7,300 hours — they have come to “truly understand how well the Rush community does at delivering health care and you become part of their mission,” Bongiorno says.
Some of their favorite duties include delivering newspapers and flowers to patients, assisting with administrative work and talking about current events with patients. While the Golden Girls realize their contributions help make Rush University Medical Center the hospital of choice, they’ve also noticed that patients value simply having someone to keep them company.
The Hospital Guest Relations Department held its annual volunteer appreciation dinner on Tuesday to celebrate volunteers’ contributions. To the Golden Girls, it’s comparable to prom, Garcia says.
“We look forward to ‘our time’ to see everyone together, outside of work and dressed up,” she says. “We get to appreciate what the hospital has shown us and also appreciate each other.”
The Office of Volunteer Services is always looking for older adult volunteers who are interested in giving back to the medical center and getting the chance to brighten lives. Please call (312) 942-5574 or visit the Volunteer Services Web page.