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"We couldn't survive without them."

Volunteers Celebrated

Gila Regional Medical Center celebrated its volunteers during National Volunteer Month in April, but they appreciate their volunteers all year long.

"We couldn't survive without them," Holley Hudgins, Gila Regional Medical Center marketing director, said. "Every year, we honor them."

Gila Regional Medical Center has many programs that serve its patients through the many hours volunteers put in during a year.

Among those active programs is the Auxiliary. Those who have been patients in or visitors to the hospital recognize the pink uniforms of the Auxiliary members.

Several volunteers talked about their duties and what they enjoy about volunteering at the hospital.

Cecil Para has been an auxiliary member for about nine years. When contacted, she was on her way to serve at the hospital.

"I work in the cancer center, in surgery and recovery, and at the front desk," Para said. "I spend about four days a week there. I enjoy everything I do, especially meeting and visiting with people, as well as helping people by answering questions at the front desk."

Vera MacGregor has been with the Auxiliary for about seven years.

She first became a member "because I wanted to get involved in the community and be useful and productive."

Because she had experience being a patient at the hospital, she knew she could be empathetic to those who were in the facility.

"Right now, I'm working in the Cancer Center," MacGregor said. "I'm also editor for the Auxiliary newsletter and chairwoman of the Teddy Bear program. We give the teddy bears to children when they come into the hospital as a patient or for a test. It helps to relax them."

She has recently become a member of the Planetree Steering Committee, and is looking forward to supporting the hospital through her services.

"I really enjoy everything I do at the hospital," MacGregor said. "Everything we do is useful."

She spoke about the small fund the Auxiliary has at the Gift Shop. It is for people leaving the hospital who have no one to pick them up and don't have bus fare to get home.

"We're always looking for new ways to help the patients," MacGregor said.

She cited the cancer lunch program, which benefits those who may have to spend eight hours at the cancer center and cannot afford lunch. "The program helps them with money for lunch."

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