50-Year Hospital Volunteer

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

How many of us remember 1973?  A dozen eggs cost 45 cents, gasoline cost 40 cents a gallon, and the average new home would set you back about $32,500. And, importantly, Sally Baldwin began volunteering at what was then the new Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge. The hospital is now Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center…and Sally Baldwin is marking her 50th year as a volunteer!

In 1972 Baldwin’s three children were all in school. She had done scouts, the swim team, and other activities for her kids but as the hospital was preparing to open its doors, Baldwin thought it would be nice to volunteer and serve the community in a different way.

She began her volunteer journey working in the hospital gift shop, which at that time was managed solely by the volunteer auxiliary. From there, her volunteer experience expanded significantly. Sally remembers a particularly interesting day when a bus of tourists from France arrived at the hospital because someone in their party needed medical attention. Volunteers on duty welcomed these international guests and were able to provide meals and hospitality while they were onsite. Even Baldwin’s daughter, who was a candy-striper at the time and spoke a bit of French, helped make these guests comfortable. Hospital staff noticed how well Sally interacted with these special guests and she was encouraged to expand her areas of service.

After an opening became available at the registration/information desk, Baldwin was asked to take on this assignment. Over the years, she has worked in numerous volunteer positions throughout the hospital. She has served in multiple leadership roles on the Volunteer Auxiliary Board, spearheaded unique fundraising events, chaired the Junior Volunteers for several years, and helped the Volunteer Auxiliary evolve into an integral part of the hospital system.

“It just warms my heart, it really does,” said Baldwin. “It’s also a good learning experience as there are so many different ways to be of service. Buy you know, just being able to see a friendly face in the hospital brings so much satisfaction as a volunteer.”

“Her commitment and dedication are a model of what one person can selflessly do for the betterment of everyone around her. April 16 marks the beginning of National Volunteer Week, and we cannot thank Sally Baldwin enough for all that she had contributed to this organization through the years,” said Beverly Brevard, team coordinator for patient relations and volunteer services.

Call for New Volunteers

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has approximately 150 active volunteers who assist in nearly all departments throughout the organization. These volunteers give graciously of their time to support the Sentara mission: To Improve Health Every Day. If you have ever thought of sharing your time and talents volunteering, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is a great place to start.  You can fill out an application at Sentara.com/volunteer or call the Auxiliary Volunteer Office at 703-523-1345 for additional information.


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