Banner volunteers create culture of community service with rewards |

Banner volunteers create culture of community service with rewards

Aly Lawson
Volunteers at the Banner Churchill Community Hospital Auxiliary thrift store are, from left, Linda Miller, Janet Henry, Judy Price, Sue Catlin, Becky Hadley and Judy Babb.

Volunteers at the Banner Churchill Community Hospital Auxiliary’s thrift store (Stuf N’ Such) achieved over half a million dollars in savings and fundraising last year and should celebrate all week long through Saturday for National Volunteer Week.

“When compared with other hospitals with the same amount of volunteers, our auxiliary is bringing in three times the amount of revenue to donate back out,” said Marcia Vinson, auxiliary president. “I’m honored to be working with these volunteers. And I think it’s great there’s something set aside for volunteers everywhere.”

President Richard Nixon established National Volunteer Week with an executive order in 1974, and every president since has issued a special proclamation during the week along with many governors and mayors. The event has evolved into a nationwide push for people to get out and volunteer in their communities.

Darlene Hanefeld, the hospital’s chief human resources officer, said their volunteers “come from an impressive array of backgrounds and generations – ranging in age from 14 to 90 – and work in almost every department. They volunteer their selfless service, compassion and caring to benefit our hospital and our community.

In 2015, 65 volunteers gave 19,484 hours of work, equaling 9.4 full-time employees. Valued at the industry-recognized rate of $23.07 per hour, their contributions made an economic impact of $449,496. In addition, they contributed approximately $100,000 through events and sales at the hospital’s gift shop and thrift store.

The auxiliary paid for the hospital’s flu shots given to the community. They’re also providing about $75,000 for décor in refurbished patient rooms, and they supplied $16,000 for new medical-surgical sinks. Looking forward, they’re planning a community health fair for the fall and continuing to provide scholarships and support for community health-related activities.

“Volunteering offers many benefits and rewards such as making new friends, enhancing the community, learning new skills and making a difference in someone’s life,” said Hanefield. “Whatever their reason for faithfully showing up each day, our volunteers bring a wealth of support, wisdom, humor and cheer that can never be repaid.”

You can work directly with patients and visitors, deliver flowers, provide reading material, even man the hospital’s Rainbow Treasure’s gift shop or Stuf ‘n’ Such resale store in downtown Fallon.

Volunteer Virginia Austin enjoys her time spent there.

“The people I work with are so nice, just a great bunch of people,” she said. “I enjoy going to work to be honest. And if I make one person smile, feel better, just listen to them, then it’s worth it.”

“Obviously I love the store,” said Vivian Straub, Stuf ‘n’ Such manager, “and the people who work there for free; they’re so passionate and just wanting to give back. The ladies and the gents, they take pride in it and run it like a business for the city. It makes you feel viable, alive and like a good human being.”

If individuals are interested in joining the team, visit and click “Ways to Give” or call 775-867-7034.