LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This week marks a celebration of volunteers across the country, and this year, National Volunteer Week might mean just a little bit more during a pandemic in which many of them were forced to stay home.
Susan Reider and her sister Leslie Evelyn are both retired and are now spending their free time volunteering. Together they work the gift shop at Norton Women and Children’s Hospital. They’ve only recently returned to volunteering after a year at home because of the pandemic.
”When we got the go-ahead, it was a red-letter day,” Evelyn said. ”Setting our clothes out, it was like the first day of school.”
Both of the sisters started volunteering just before the pandemic started.
”I think we were the first ones back to the gift store,” Reider said. “We were very eager. Enough couch time. It was time to get on with life.”
Evelyn said they spend plenty of time together outside of the hospital, and it’s always gossip hour inside the gift shop.
However, it’s a relief to get to talk to some other people for a change, too, now that the pandemic is slowing.
”We live in the same neighborhood, we talk all the time,” Evelyn said, “but it’s just good to get back into the public and meet different people after you’ve talked to the same three people for 12 months.”
There’s a lot of things these two could be doing together that don’t involve volunteerism. So why do they do it? And why at the hospital? It’s for something to do, but it’s really for the healthcare heroes, especially now.
”You just feel like you want to do something,” Reider said, “even though it’s just a teeny tiny bit of help.”
National Volunteer Week runs until April 24 if you want to thank the favorite volunteer in your life.