HCA Healthcare mobilizes volunteers for April Community Days month of service
Today, we are proud to announce our fourth annual month-long community volunteer campaign, Community Days: A Month of Service. During the month of April, HCA Healthcare is providing volunteer time and financial contributions to more than 300 not-for-profit, charitable organizations in Middle Tennessee, corresponding with National Volunteer Appreciation Month.
“While volunteering occurs throughout the year, HCA Healthcare’s Community Days: A Month of Service is a month-long campaign during which HCA Healthcare’s Middle Tennessee colleagues are encouraged to volunteer,” said Joanne Pulles, vice president of community engagement at HCA Healthcare and president of the HCA Healthcare Foundation.
So far, the 2023 Community Days campaign has resulted in:
- 2,200 Nashville-based colleagues who have volunteered or are registered to volunteer
- 10,757 estimated volunteer hours
- $60,500 in direct support to agencies to underwrite the cost of projects
- $215,000 in Care Cards earned (Virtual gifts for nonprofits of the recipient’s choice for every 10 hours of individual volunteer time logged)
“Our goal for 2023 is to exceed last year’s numbers. We have multiple volunteer activities spread throughout the city over the entire month of April,” said Whitney Weeks, assistant vice president of the HCA Healthcare Foundation. “We hope this will provide more flexibility for our volunteers in regards to their schedules and finding a volunteer project helping a cause they are passionate about.”
Community Days is just one aspect of giving by HCA Healthcare and the HCA Healthcare Foundation. In 2022, they donated more than $44 million to community organizations across the nation, and HCA Healthcare colleagues logged more than 143,800 volunteer hours. The Foundation also continued to support its Healthier Tomorrow Fund, which has committed more than $18.3 million to 51 nonprofit partners nationally since its launch, including the American Heart Association, Girl Scouts of the USA and many others.
HCA Healthcare has a strong community presence in Middle Tennessee. In addition to its headquarters, HCA Healthcare has 10 hospitals and employs approximately 15,200 colleagues at its corporate campus and through TriStar Health System, the company’s local division.
Locally, one of the many activities involved volunteers working with The Nashville Food Project’s kitchen in The Nations on Thursday, April 13. The Nashville Food Project provides healthy, prepared meals to over fifty local nonprofits for wider distribution to children, senior adults and refugees.
Other activities included April 18 and April 27 at the Nashville Rescue Mission, where HCA Healthcare has donated $1 million for a new facility to provide shelter to women and children, and assisting Family & Children’s Services in a landscaping project at Gower Elementary School in West Nashville, including painting a multicultural mural on April 25.
Find your next volunteer opportunity
Are you inspired to make a difference? Research by the nonprofit Points of Light shows that 73% of people believe volunteering is more important now than ever. Points of Light aggregates hundreds of thousands of volunteering opportunities into a searchable online database that is a great place to start searching for a volunteer project that you’re passionate about.
HCA Healthcare colleagues can double their impact by logging volunteer hours on YourCause. For every 10 hours of recorded volunteer service (up to 50 hours a year), all benefits-eligible colleagues will receive a $200 Care Card, a virtual gift card that can be given to any U.S. public charity or school. Colleagues donating their time by serving as board members for nonprofit organizations can also earn Care Cards for those organizations.
Community service is a foundational aspect of HCA Healthcare’s core values and our commitment to building healthier tomorrows. We are proud to support this spirit of engagement and profoundly thankful to all of the volunteers across our enterprise who continue to give their time and talents to improve our communities.
100-year-old hospital volunteer has no plans of slowing down
Every day, volunteers also serve our patients and colleagues in HCA Healthcare hospitals across the country. Many visit with patients and families to comfort and encourage them. Some work at information desks, greeting patients and visitors and guiding them to where they need to go. Others stock shelves in the gift shop and assist visitors in finding the perfect gift for a new mom or friend recovering from surgery.
Many hospital volunteers are retirees who enjoy the social interaction and friendship that comes with volunteering. In addition to helping others, you meet people with shared interests. Volunteering can also improve mental health and may even help you live longer. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), volunteering has been linked to reducing stress, increasing happiness, developing confidence and finding a purpose.
HCA Healthcare hospital volunteer Lenny Singer is the first face many see people when they walk into Summerville Medical Center in South Carolina. Lenny serves up smiles as he greets community members at the visitor entrance desk. The 100-year-old hospital volunteer and World War II veteran is proof that you are never too old to make a positive impact in your community.
Lenny was first drawn to volunteering at Summerville Medical Center in 2004 because of the hospital’s culture that centers around putting patients first and caring for them with purpose and integrity. “My neighbor had been a long-time volunteer at Summerville Medical Center and spoke often about the team and culture and the important work of the volunteers to help support the patients and staff,” said Lenny.
Over the past 19 years, Lenny has spent more than 5,300 hours volunteering wherever Summerville Medical Center needed him the most. He has volunteered in the emergency department, the Wound Care Clinic, the mail room and is currently serving in the visitor center.
Lenny has also experienced the important work of his hospital family as a patient at Summerville Medical Center. He had his first hip replacement at the hospital when he was 93 years old, and a second at 97 years old.
To celebrate Lenny’s 100th birthday, HCA Healthcare colleagues at Summerville Medical Center wanted to organize a special surprise for him. The U.S. Navy Dental Hospital Corpsman veteran was surprised with an escort to the hospital in a 1930 Ford Model T car and was greeted by the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard. He walked into the hospital on a red carpet and was greeted by staff lining the hallway to welcome him to his party.
What’s his secret to living over a century? Lenny credits it to a healthy diet, exercise and 62 years of companionship from his loving wife. As for what comes next for Lenny, he has no plans to stop volunteering twice a week at Summerville Medical Center. “He’d do more if his wife would let him,” Michael McMinn, manager of volunteer programs for Summerville Medical Center, jokingly told the Post and Courier.
Watch caregivers at Summerville Medical Center surprise Lenny for his 100th birthday on ABC News4.
How to become a hospital volunteer
Volunteers are crucial to HCA Healthcare’s hospitals and can make a substantial difference in the lives of patients, their family members and even colleagues.
HCA Healthcare hospitals offer multiple volunteer opportunities for individuals with different talents. If you are unsure which opportunity is best for you and your skillset, take a look below at the sampling of places to help (though hospital needs may vary):
- Delivering mail to patient rooms
- Providing clerical and office support
- Visiting patients with pets (certification required)
- Rocking babies in the NICU
- Answering questions or visiting with families in the surgery waiting room
- Giving directions and answering questions at the information desk
Are you interested in becoming a hospital volunteer like Lenny? Visit your local hospital’s website or call the information desk to learn how to apply.
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About HCA Healthcare
HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.
As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.