If you’ve spent any time at Yavapai Regional Medical Center, you’ve probably heard the sound of a hand bell throughout the halls twice a day. The bell heralds the arrival of the snack cart, and the ringer is a member of the snack cart volunteer team, serving hot coffee, juices, fruit, yogurt and other goodies to visitors and staff at the hospital.
On any given morning, you might be served by YRMC volunteers John Peters and Richard McBride. The duo often resembles a comedy team more than hospital volunteers. Employees and visitors who purchase snacks from the cart can’t help but join in the banter and good-natured teasing.
But don’t let the lightheartedness fool you. They take their job very seriously. “A big philosophy we have is that we go the extra mile,” says Peters, “Let’s say that you have a nurse caring for a patient in one of the rooms in ICU. I know one nurse in particular who always wants a bag of cheddar popcorn and a string cheese. I’ll get her badge from her, ring it up and take it back there to her station.”
Peters and McBride are particularly proud of their dedication. “Our record for uninterrupted service is 79 weeks without missing a day,” says Peters. A snowstorm prevented the volunteers from coming in on the 80th day.
When asked why this dedication is so important, Peters responds, ”I really can’t explain it. I’m sure it’s this way for all the other volunteers. It’s just a sense of good feeling that you’re providing a service.”
Peters describes the camaraderie and friendship as an added bonus to volunteering at YRMC, including getting to know the staff and fellow volunteers, learning about their families, grandchildren and travels.
As McBride picks up the hand bell and starts down the hall to ring their arrival, Peters sums it up this way, “Volunteering is a wonderful experience. Period. It’s the only way to explain it.”
The YRMC Volunteer Services Department welcomes inquiries about volunteering for the snack cart as well as a wide variety of other volunteer opportunities. For more information, call:
Volunteer Services, YRMC West, Prescott: (928) 771-5678
Volunteer Services, YRMC East, Prescott Valley: (928) 442-8678