HealthWise: Volunteers find joy from decades of service

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital relies on a team of volunteers to improve the experience for patients, and some of those volunteers have made an entire career out of helping other people.

Nancy Maine has volunteered at the hospital for the past 58 years. She currently helps people in the Phillips Cancer Center.

"We try to listen to their problems and greet them with a happy face," Maine said. "They're hurting or they're anxious about their families, and I can be with them. It's very satisfying for me. It's a way I can pay back to them all the good things that have happened in my life."

Maine's work as a volunteer has benefited not only decades of patients, but also her own life.

"I tell people it's my therapy," Maine said. "I come down and I think I might have a problem, and I go home and count my blessings."

Sue Massey started volunteering at the hospital 31 years ago, during a very difficult time in her life.

"I lost my oldest daughter very tragically and I needed a focus and a purpose in life," Massey said.

She found that purpose, and some healing, by helping others.

"I saw people that were in different stages of grief and I knew that I wasn't out there by myself," Massey said. "It was an inspiration to me to just be there to help others, too, and put a smile on their face as well as mine."

The hospital is looking for even more volunteers. Interested applicants can send an email to rmwalker@sentara.com.

Massey and Maine say the work is worth your time.

"The people I work with and the whole environment is such a caring hospital," Maine said.

"You give a lot," said Massey, "but you get 10,000 fold."



 
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