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St.Mary-Corwin wants CSU-Pueblo students to volunteer

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St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo., is known for its comprehensive cancer care but, many people are not aware of the effort involved from volunteers.

Colorado State University-Pueblo students can volunteer and gain life skills to help fill their resume by volunteering at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center offers a volunteer program for any age.

Holly Jo Butt, the volunteer director at the center, said they currently have 200 volunteers on staff. The volunteers’ ages span 80 years. In September they had a student volunteer who was 14, and they currently have a volunteer who is 94.

Three separate types of volunteers are in the program; senior aides, student aides and a volunteer between the ages of 21 and 55. Each category has special requirements for volunteers, Butt said.

The student aid program runs from May through September and the students are required to complete 240 hours of service, Butt said. Senior aides must be over 55 and meet other requirements which would be discussed during the interview process.

A volunteer who is in the age range of 21 to 55 should complete 100 hours throughout the one-year contract.

“This helps with a better structure of consistency,” Butt said.

But Butt said the hospital uses a contract to have stability within the volunteers.

The volunteers are required to stay for one year and complete 100 service hours and the volunteers are required to do many tasks and remember many things, Butt said.

“The service of the volunteers cannot interfere with the service of the hospital’s union workers,” Butt said.

In order to avoid interference, volunteers are primarily placed at one of three information desks, the gift shop, the central pool, the second hand resale shop or the surgery wing. Many of these positions are treated as hospitality stations in order to help the families of patients feel comfortable.

St. Mary Corwin Cancer Center utilizes volunteers. The cancer center has a specific wig salon dedicated to cancer patients who have recently lost their hair and are going through chemotherapy. Volunteers help patients through the emotional time of selecting a wig and proper fitting.

The proceeds from the gift shop and the thrift store go directly back to the hospital. Last year the volunteer program was able to donate about $150,000 from the gift shop, second hand resale shop and fundraiser programs, Butt said.

The volunteer program helps individuals expand their life skills. Volunteers learn how to multi-task, interact with the public, use multiple line phones and manage merchandise, Butt said.

“Volunteering at St. Mary-Corwin can help individuals and senior citizens get back into the work force or gain new and rewarding experience,” Butt said.

CSU-Pueblo students who may be interested in working with the public are encouraged to volunteer, Butt said.

If interested in becoming a volunteer at the hospital, contact Holly Jo Butt at St Mary Corwin Medical Center.