Motivational speaker and first vice president of financial services for The Heritage Bank Derek Sills told more than 300 Winn Army Community Hospital volunteers Monday they are “above average” because they choose to give their time to others, a rare trait in today’s fast-paced society.
“You can never stand taller than when you stoop to help someone,” Sills said. He added that volunteers are generous people, who teach the next generation how to act unselfishly.
Red Cross volunteers, retirees and military spouses, active-duty soldiers, Dentac personnel, area veterans and high school students were recognized for their volunteer service at Winn’s 12th annual volunteer awards ceremony early this week.
Winn Army Community Hospital commander Col. Paul Cordts said when he came to Fort Stewart two years ago he met with Congressman Jack Kingston.
“All Rep. Kingston wanted to talk about was our volunteer program at Winn,” Cordts said. The commander offered some quotes in praise of volunteerism, telling hospital volunteers they “take the loneliness out of being alone.”
Winn volunteers logged more than 17,000 hours of service this year, director of volunteer services Brigitte Cabeza-Shanken said. She said this number of unpaid hours translates into about $300,000 in savings for the hospital.
Hospital volunteers perform an array of tasks and participate in community enhancement and partnership programs, she said.
Winn volunteers visit local nursing homes and have made trips to Carl Vinson Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Dublin, Cabeza-Shanken told the crowd.
Some Winn volunteers also mentor Liberty County students and visit school classrooms, she added. A number of volunteers formed a singing group last year, the Sounds of Winn; they performed during the ceremony.
Winn volunteers listed various reasons why they volunteer.
Red Cross volunteer Sherri Wright said she volunteers simply because she enjoys helping others.
Aneda Mills, a military spouse, certified medical assistant and pharmacy technician, volunteers to keep up her professional skills and interact with people in her community.
Retiree Willia Wesley, who has volunteered for the Red Cross at Winn for more than 10 years, offers her time to pray with patients and families in the intensive-care ward.
“That’s my heart; they’re so precious,” Wesley said.