Work of hospital volunteers hard but rewarding

Published 9:14 am Monday, July 13, 2015

Could there be a more trying experience than helplessly lying in a hospital bed undergoing pokes and prods from strangers? Maybe so, but this definitely ranks among the least pleasurable events in life. Waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery while desperately praying for a good report also must place pretty high among the stressful scenarios that most of us would rather avoid.

Unfortunately, everyone faces times when they or those they care about become sick or injured. Modern medicine is truly phenomenal and a blessing in itself. But Bogalusa has been blessed for many years to have a group of mostly unsung heroes who feel the call to make these stressful times of sickness and injury a little easier.

These caring individuals are unpaid workers. They give for the joy of giving. The volunteers of Our Lady of the Angels Hospital Auxiliary selflessly spend their time and energy promoting good health for their fellow man. The organization has been at work at Bogalusa’s community hospital for more than 30 years.

The volunteers man the gift shop located on the first floor of the hospital. They have seen many changes over the years. One of the most recent occurred in 2014 when Bogalusa’s hospital came under the sponsorship of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. Our Lady of the Angels, along with four other Louisiana hospitals, is currently sponsored by the health system, which began in Louisiana in 1911.

The hospital, along with the gift shop, has been recently renovated. The gift shop is scheduled to open on July 22. The profits from purchases there are used to provide special equipment that would otherwise be unavailable at the hospital.

At the recent Hospital Auxiliary Appreciation Luncheon the auxiliary donated $25,000. Among other things, this donation provided the funds necessary for the purchase of a very special piece of equipment. This instrument allows health care workers to find veins in one try. This is especially beneficial to those very young and very old patients whose veins are difficult to locate.

The Ladies Auxiliary would love to extend its mission to more hands-on patient services, such as serving coffee to patients and visitors in the waiting areas or visiting with those who may enjoy a smiling face or kind word. This can only be accomplished by others joining in their cause. Interested parties may receive more information by contacting Judy Deshotels, assistant vice-president for mission integration at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital.

What better way to serve God and live out your faith that to serve people in need?

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (King James Version, Matthew 25:40).