Are you thinking about becoming a volunteer at the YRMC Gift Shop? Good for you! And we mean, literally, “Good for you!” YRMC Gift Shop volunteers report that they are reaping benefits on many different levels. Here are just a few:

Good for your social life. Several YRMC Gift Shop volunteers tell us that what started as a volunteer shift has resulted in lasting friendships. Barbara Hein was new to the area when she decided to join the Gift Shop team. She says it was a great way to make friends and get involved with like-minded people. YRMC volunteers often have lunch together in the cafeteria before their shifts begin, or get together after hours to attend various community events. Some YRMC volunteers even travel together.

Good for your health. Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service shows that people who volunteer have lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression and fewer physical limitations than those who don’t volunteer. Additionally, a 2013 study of more that 1,600 older adults found that the participants who volunteered at least 200 hours per year were 40% less likely to get high blood pressure than non-volunteers.

Gift Shop volunteer Susan Anderson tells about the emotional and psychological benefits of volunteering, “It makes me feel like I’m a part of a bigger thing and I like that,” she says. Barbara Hein agrees, “A lady came in this morning and she was feeling a little overwhelmed. I think she felt better after she spent some time with us. It just makes me feel like I’m doing something good. I believe in paying it forward.”

Good for our community. By volunteering in the Gift Shop, you’re helping to provide vital support to YRMC and its many services. All of the proceeds from Gift Shop sales go right back into hospital services, like patient care programs and health and wellness initiatives that benefit our community.

Good for your home décor, wardrobe and gift-giving power. You’ll be among the first to see the unusual items brought in to the Gift Shops, carefully chosen from vendors and trade shows throughout the year. YRMC Gift Shop Manager Rachel Freeman enjoys finding these unique items, “We have everything from boutique clothing and jewelry to home décor, gourmet food, fresh flowers, greeting cards and high-end body care items,” she says, “It’s so fun finding unique and different things that you think no one is going to have in this area and bringing it in to our shops.”

Good for your pocketbook. Since YRMC is a not-for-profit hospital, all of the items sold at the Gift Shop are tax-free.

Good for our patients. Susan Anderson emphasizes that the Gift Shop offers much more that what a typical store can offer, “It’s a cheerful, colorful, lovely little place to visit – a place where you can forget that you’re waiting for someone in surgery. You can forget for a while that a loved one might be very ill in the ICU,” she says, “I’d like to think that we’re doing a lot more that just selling things.”

“Volunteering is the heart of this hospital,” says Freeman, “It’s a lot of fun. You’re going to enjoy every single minute of it and it’s good for you. We love our volunteers at YRMC.”

Join the fun at the YRMC Gift Shop and do something good for yourself and your community. Contact YRMC Volunteer Services at (928) 442-8678.

Related: Volunteer Rows His Way to Health at YRMC Wellness Center