Mayers Healthcare Foundation celebrates National Volunteer WeekMayers Memorial Hospital and Mayers Healthcare Foundation understands the importance and impact volunteers make in our organization and our community. In fact, our hospital began with the hard work of volunteers contributing many hours as staff in order to get the hospital operational for the community.
Each year in April, we recognize National Volunteer Week as an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society's greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. This event provides us at Mayers a platform to thank and honor each of our extraordinary hospital volunteers that lend their time and talent to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families, and to help our hospital continue to be the pillar of our community.
The hospital's first official volunteer organization was established December 6, 1966, known as the Intermountain Hospital Guild (IHG), a voluntary auxiliary of Mayers Memorial Hospital. Back then, the volunteers did all the non-medical tasks including housekeeping, laundry, cooking, assisting with special events, maintenance and office administration. They also assisted nurses' aides in some of their tasks. In the first year, well over 6,000 hours had been logged by IHG members who lived in Burney and the Fall River Valley. By 1969, the hospital became a tax district and employees were hired to do much of the work provided by those first volunteers that helped establish Mayers.
When the Intermountain Hospital Guild opened its gift shop in the hospital lobby in late 1982, the shop was a huge success and continues to be a primary force of revenue for the Mayers Healthcare Foundation today. The Intermountain Hospital Guild provided hundreds of thousands of hours and donated over $100,000 to the hospital during its existence. Its legacy continues! In 2007, the IHG formally disbanded and donated the balance of the gift shop funds to the Mayers Healthcare Foundation. Since then, the volunteer program has operated through the Foundation which serves as the fundraising and non-profit branch of the hospital.
Regardless of the focus of our volunteers, we see how these volunteers have forged valuable relationships and do, truly, meaningful work. Whether its gardening or doing activities with our skilled nursing facility residents, doing church services, working on hairdressing with long-term care residents, hospice, serving on our Foundation board, miscellaneous tasks, or assisting in our stores. The value of what our volunteers do is priceless and our gratitude to them is endless. They are part of Mayers and offer our organization such wonderful, caring service and kindness to our patients and staff.
Particularly this April, as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact our lives and livelihood, we are relying on our health care system like never before. To all the healthcare volunteers throughout our nation, state and region, we salute you for providing aid to communities impacted by COVID-19.
Most of you know that Mayers and our community suffered a great loss when our volunteer, Lyn Palmer, disappeared on April 20, 2018. Today, two years later she remains missing. Lyn along with Margaret Truan, former Executive Director of the Mayers Healthcare Foundation, were instrumental in creating a business plan to start our thrift store, Lucky Finds Thrift & Gift. We can easily state that the thrift store was Lyn's passion project and that she loved every minute being there. It was that Friday, April 20th, 2018 that Lyn volunteered her last day at Mayers thrift store. In remembrance of her many contributions to Mayers and continued hope for answers of her disappearance, we pay tribute to Lyn Palmer as we celebrate National Volunteer Week. Please join the Mayers Healthcare Foundation and Mayers Memorial Hospital in saluting the 110 volunteers impacting our local healthcare institution and community!