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“Gal”entine’s Day – Making Forever Friends in the HMH Auxiliary

HMH Auxiliary volunteers Teresa Smallwood and Eileen Davenport had never met each other before but from the first time they volunteered together, they recognized a kindred spirit within each other.

“From the moment we met, we started having fun,” said Eileen, who has been an HMH Auxiliary volunteer for about three years. “We have so much in common and we both just start dancing whenever there’s music. But we would probably never have met without the Auxiliary.”

Teresa moved to Kentucky seven years ago to be near her husband’s family.
“I didn’t have any friends when I moved here. The only people I knew were my husband’s family and friends, and I love them, but I thought I should be making my own friends,” she said.
She decided to start volunteering with the Hardin Memorial Health Auxiliary a few years ago and said it was one of the best decisions she’s made.

“It’s so fulfilling. It’s a wonderful group and I’ve made great friends,” she said. “Eileen and I have lunch together every week at the hospital and we meet out at restaurants as well.”

Eileen and Teresa met when they were working in the HMH Auxiliary Gift Shop. Although Teresa now works at the Cancer Care Center and Eileen works at the Front Desk, they still find ways to see each other.
“I’ll come to the hospital to have lunch with her on Thursdays – isn’t that funny? I come to the hospital even when I’m not volunteering!”
Teresa says working at the Cancer Care Center is extremely fulfilling.
“I love it. What I’m doing is basic – putting pillowcases on pillows or bringing patients drinks or snacks. But I spend time with them, sit there and talk with them … just help them get through what they’re experiencing,” she said. “I’m a really positive person and I try to just be cheerful and help them feel more positive as well.

Eileen and Teresa are planning a trip to London together in the Spring. HMH Director of Volunteer Services Kevin Hilton said the Auxiliary prides itself on its spirit of camaraderie.
“Even though we are working, it’s also a great environment where people can socialize,” he said. “Many lifelong friends are made here, and there are opportunities for everyone – starting at just four hours a week.”

HMH Auxiliary volunteers serve in multiple areas of the HMH healthcare system including the HMH Auxiliary Gift Shop, ICU waiting room, HMH Cancer Care Center, Front Desk and many more. The HMH Auxiliary also holds many fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for needs around the hospital and for a scholarship fund that donates tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students entering the medical field. Additionally, each year, the HMH Auxiliary donates 34,000 invaluable hours of manpower.

Volunteers receive a complimentary meal during their shift from the renowned hospital cafeteria, and there are banquets held twice a year to recognize and appreciate the volunteers and develop valuable friendships that last a lifetime.

If you think you might be interested, please contact Kevin at (270) 706-1713 or email him at khilton@hmh.net.

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