Shelby Auxiliary logs decades of service

Peggy Wert and Ann Dawson, members of the Shelby Baptist Auxiliary, have been adding an extra level of patient care to the hospital for many years.

At the fast-growing Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, there’s more going on than testing, surgery, delivery and recovery.

I know from my extended stay how important every single aspect of a patient’s care can be.

I’ve always appreciated and even enjoyed the vibes in a hospital. Sure, I know bad things happen there, but there is so much more good.

The Ladies Auxiliary at Shelby has more than 60 active volunteers doing good things.

You will see these volunteers working in the gift shop, at the front desk, the reception area of surgery waiting or any place where help is short.

Longtime volunteers like Mildred Benton, Shirley Harrison, Ann Dawson, Esther Acre, Carol Bales and Peggy Wert can fill in for practically anyone.

The auxiliary has existed for more than 30 years. The first president was Elizabeth Duke, who, at more than 100 years young, resides in Shelby Ridge.

The ladies are easily spotted in their pink jackets.

The men volunteers wear blue.

All volunteers go through training and one of their requirements of orientation must be genuine friendliness and patience because everyone I met was great.

The volunteers have fundraisers all year to purchase needed items that may not be covered in the budget or special items they feel would be a comfort or a plus for the patient.

In the past, crash carts, nursery isolettes, golf carts, a serene prayer garden and a television for the rehab area are just a few of the purchases provided through fundraising.

Recently there was a huge jewelry sale.

There was about 200 feet of gorgeous and very budget-friendly jewelry from Carlos at Masquerade Jewelry out of Knoxville.

There is a book and linen sale along with two uniform sales, a bake sale before Christmas and a real treat of personalized Easter baskets.

You specifically order the goodies for the basket and set the theme. For example a “golf theme” complete with favorite snacks and maybe some tees or golf balls. Prices vary from $15 to $50.

The auxiliary has a float in the Christmas parade.

They also serve as patient advocates, fill candy machines, make charts and steer lost folks to wherever they need to be.

Ann Dawson, the current president, has been a volunteer for four years and will be delighted to answer any questions.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.