“People Want to give Back.”

With all of its facilities, personnel, and technology, most of us find a hospital visit intimidating. It’s large, it’s busy, and we’re not there for social reasons -- it’s because we or someone we love need care. That’s why it’s so helpful to have a friendly, caring face greet us when we come through the doors. There’s someone at the front desk to answer our questions, point us in the right direction, and put us at ease. But she’s not just working behind a desk. She may be visiting patients, assisting in an office, busy in the hospital gift shop, or running a major fundraiser. She’s the very human face of your local hospital, is crucial to its operations -- and doesn’t receive a dime in pay for all she does.

Hospital auxiliary volunteers keep the wheels of hospital care running smoothly, and the corps of volunteers supporting McLaren Flint is among the most active in the state. Our auxiliary currently numbers over 300 members, contributing an average of 3500 hours a month in services. Greeting visitors is only your first introduction to the role of volunteers at McLaren Flint, says Ginny Livingston, our auxiliary president. “We have 32 services, including emergency rooms, radiology, and heart & vascular.” McLaren Flint volunteers are also a vital part of the Karmanos Cancer Center and the Hospitality House.

The McLaren Flint auxiliary volunteers are a diverse group, mostly retired women (though a number of men now volunteer). However, they share mutual motivations for contributing. “Most people want to give back,” notes Livingston. “Everybody worked in different jobs, but once they retired, they didn’t want to just sit at home and watch TV. They wanted to do something with a purpose.”

While that “purpose” often involves on-the-spot assistance in McLaren Flint health care facilities, it also involves broader support for both the mission and funding of McLaren. McLaren gift shops and vendor sales are coordinated and staffed by the volunteers, and these alone raise approximately $125,000 yearly. The volunteers work with many other outside activities to support McLaren’s mission and patients as well. The Hospitality House’s annual “Girls’ Night In” fundraiser sees “about 300 people show up for fun events, wine tasting, and makeovers, and Macy’s sponsor’s a fashion show.”

The McLaren Flint volunteers will mark their 100th anniversary in 2019, and their dedication has been legendary over the decades. Some of the volunteers have been active for 30 years, and the oldest has been involved with the hospital since 1953. “It’s quite a commitment to volunteer, but I still plan to continue,” says Livingston, who has been active with the group since 2011. “We’re included in all aspects of the hospital, which is different from some other hospitals. We really run our own show, and we’re supported well by the McLaren Flint Foundation.”

For more information or to apply, click here.