Volunteers make a difference at local convalescent hospital | TheUnion.com

Volunteers make a difference at local convalescent hospital

Eight years ago, Pat Bradley of Grass Valley joined the volunteers at the Golden Empire Convalescent Hospital because she had time on her hands and wanted to “be useful and necessary to someone.”

Last month, she and a fellow-volunteer accepted a Volunteer of the Year award on behalf of Pink Ladies Auxiliary from the California Association of Health Facilities at a special ceremony in South Lake Tahoe.

For the past 35 years, the Pink Ladies Auxiliary has regularly volunteered at various events and day-to-day activities at the Golden Empire Convalescent Hospital on Dorsey Drive in Grass Valley.

“There’s no way I could do all the activities I do here and keep residents busy without the auxiliary,” Helen Vanderhoof, activities director at the hospital said. “They also help us with the cost of our activities. They pay for half of the bingo prizes. They’ve also bought three fireplaces and a jacuzzi tub for our hospital.”

In addition, volunteers with Pink Ladies arrange chapel services, birthday parties, ice cream socials and ceramics classes at the hospital, Vanderhoof said. Volunteers also visit those who don’t have family to visit them and take residents out shopping, Vanderhoof added.

“The most rewarding part is not what I do for the patients but what they do for me,” said Bradley, 82, who’s now the secretary of the Pink Ladies Auxiliary. “They lift my spirits and make me thankful for my good health and prosperity.”

Bradley visits the hospital twice a week and personally meets with 10 patients.

“I felt very proud of all that we’ve accomplished,” Bradley said about accepting the Volunteer of the Year award. “There must have been about 400 people at the ceremony and they were all clapping for us.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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