When Wayne Smith of Stuarts Draft retired, he knew he would spend much of his new-found free time getting 'out and about'. He enjoys golfing and biking and being outdoors. But when he discovered that he still had a quite a bit of spare time, he decided to add volunteering to his schedule. As it turned out, volunteering at Augusta Health also provided Smith the opportunity to get 'out and about'.
Every Monday morning, from 8 am until noon, Smith is the volunteer Shuttle Driver at Augusta Health. He spends the hours circling the campus in the Shuttle, moving from entrance to entrance, from building to building, across Lifecore Drive to the pharmacy and physician offices and even stopping mid-parking lot to help those who didn't realize how far they had to walk.
"It's a great 'job'," says Smith, "because I get to meet a lot of people and help them. I have some 'regular riders' who get off the BRITE bus and then need transportation over to the pharmacy or a doctor's office. I get to know them and they get to know me—we're like a social network. And I know that providing the Shuttle Bus service to get around campus really helps those without transportation."
In addition to attending the hospital orientation that all Augusta Health volunteers complete, Smith had to take a Driver Training and Safety class also provided by the hospital in order to qualify as a Shuttle Driver. He loves his "wheels". "We got a new bus a few months ago, and it's really a smooth ride. And very reliable," he adds.
In addition to his Shuttle Driving expertise, Smith volunteers on Thursday mornings in the Radiology department. "I greet the patients, direct them to the registration windows, and hand out paperwork and give a nice smile. Many folks are a little nervous about their reason for being in Radiology, so I know they appreciate a friendly connection," he says.
"I enjoy having two different types of jobs. It gives me variety," Smith says. "There are many things volunteers at Augusta Health can do, and I think I am evidence of that. The Volunteer Services staff does a great job of matching your interests to the positions they need help with. It's been a really valuable experience."
Since he began volunteering at Augusta Health, Smith has become an advocate for the vocation. "I'd like to advise people: Don't sit at home. Use your time wisely and help others. At the same time, you'll help yourself, too."
If you are interested in volunteering at Augusta Health, please contact Volunteer Services at (540) 332-4740 for more information. You can also visit our website, https://www.augustahealth.com/volunteers, to submit an online application. Volunteers are always needed and appreciated.