May 6, 2021
If you have a need to make people feel good, and you want to feel good yourself, there’s nothing better than helping those who are nervous or scared.
Becoming a vendor at Goodall Hospital in Sanford allowed me the opportunity to witness extraordinary professionals at work. I saw first-hand the remarkable work they do and the care they provide to each and every person who comes through the door. When I retired, I knew that I wanted to spend my time volunteering, so I went to Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) to sign up as a volunteer and became a member of The Auxiliary Board.
I volunteered in Radiology for 7 years. I saw people coming in who were scared. I found that just by holding their hand and talking with them, by the time I got to the end of the hall I could make them laugh at least once. It brought them comfort and made them feel like they were with a friend.
There was one young lady, and a paramount moment with her, that changed the volunteer experience for me. She was a college student at UNE. She was in pain, she was away from home and her family and she was sitting in a wheelchair alone waiting for her tests. She started to cry and I’m a sucker for cryers. I walked over to her, hugged her, and told her she’d be ok. She looked up at me with glossy eyes and said, “You’re just what I needed.” I think she could tell by the look on my face I didn't understand, so she said, “I needed a hug more than I needed anything else.”
I’ve never forgotten that young lady as that experience solidified everything I was doing made a difference. The gratitude and thanks cannot compare, but I get so much more out of volunteering than I ever give. Volunteering gives me purpose and when I go home every day I feel so grateful to be able to help people just by being a support to them.
- Sharon Roberge, Southern Maine Health Care Volunteer