Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference, and this is one of them.
During the summer months, it can be difficult for patients at Yuma Regional Medical Center to get around the hospital expanding grounds, but that’s where Courtesy Cart Drivers like Barbara Knapp comes in.
“Well I started in 2001. It was suggested to me by my husband, who at that time was working security here at the hospital. And I’ve loved it ever since,” says Barbara.
As a winter visitor turned Yuma resident, Barbara and volunteers like her have the brave task of picking up and dropping off YRMC visitors so they don’t have to walk in the heat.
Barbara says, “I really enjoy talking to people, doing things for the community and helping people that have trouble walking or if it’s too hot. We don’t want them to pass out in the parking lot; we want to get them there safe.”
And although she works the morning shift, she gives credit to those who work the hottest parts of the day when p patients need them the most.
“The first time I did that just to see what it was like to work at four o’clock to eight at night. The heat that day was the day it was 117. I just got one of my rags, wet it with water, put it around my neck and away I went,” Barbara says.
In a four hour shift volunteers like Barbara help about 50 to 60 patients, and that’s why YRMC says they need more help.
“We are very blessed with a lot of winter visitor, but they’re not here right now. So our biggest need right now is cart drivers. We have about 35 cart drivers, but we are really looking for cart drivers for the afternoon,” says Elizabeth Hammonds, the Volunteer Services officer.
Elizabeth adds, a ride and a smile from the car to the hospital help ease any worrying their patients may have when they arrive, giving volunteers like Barbara a chance to serve the community.
Barbara concludes,” We have a phone card with our numbers, so if they happen to get out of the car and it’s too hot for them to walk, if they have one of our cards they can call that number and they will radio us, and we are sent on our way to pick them up. So I just like being of use to the community and to the people who need the help.”