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Their Generosity and Our Gratitude Mix and Mingle at the Annual Volunteer Reception

Silver Hill Hospital

Silver Hill Hospital gratefully salutes our more than 250 dedicated volunteers on Thursday, April 19, at the Annual Volunteer Reception, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. on campus at the Martin Center building. There will be cake for employees and volunteers along with volunteer testimonials.

“We’re grateful to our volunteers everyday,” says Lisa Ruggiero, Director of the volunteer program. “My gratitude comes from seeing their astonishing level of commitment and the breadth of their talent.”

Silver Hill volunteers – including concerned college students, grateful former patients, and many others from the surrounding community – lend their energy and talent to a wide variety of tasks that help make the Silver Hill experience richer for patients and more efficient for staff. Currently, volunteers conduct 12 Step/Recovery discussions;; assist group sessions in Art, Recreation and Horticulture Therapy; lead groups in Art, Baking, Chess, Floral Arranging, Knitting, Meditation, Movement, Music and Writing; serve as Greeters and Pastoral Caregivers; provide Pet Therapy; offer School Time assistance for adolescents keeping up with homework; and give administrative support to staff.

“Our volunteers are crucial to our mission,” says Silver Hill Hospital President John Santopietro. “Their openness, their talents, and their generosity of spirit help us to create the homelike and healing atmosphere we want for our patients.” Dr. Santopietro, along with Chief Financial Officer Dennis Dolan, will both be on hand at the reception to say a few words of thanks to the volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering can get more information about the program at our website or by calling Ms. Ruggiero at 203-801-2320. What does it take to be a Silver Hill volunteer? “The Number One characteristic they must have that complements their many talents is to be kind,” says director Ruggiero. “I know that sounds trivial, but it’s true. When I interview volunteers, that’s what I’m hoping to see. I ask myself: ‘Does this person come across as genuine and nice? Would our patients warm up to this person and feel welcomed?’”

Which means that this Thursday so many of the 250 nicest people in several nearby towns will be recognized and honored for their giving spirit, kindness and commitment. “Our volunteers extend their hearts, they extend a smile, they just help create a warmer place, a more homelike place, a non-judgmental place,” says Ms. Ruggiero.

The Annual Volunteer Reception is held in conjunction with National Healthcare Volunteer Week, running from April 15 to 21. This countrywide recognition of the importance of volunteers to hospitals and non-profits is sponsored by the Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals (AHVRP), and is an outgrowth of April becoming National Volunteer Month as part of President George H. W. Bush’s 1000 Points of Light campaign in 1991.

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