Making the Most of Retirement spotlights volunteer options in Stillwater

Lisa Eckels from the Stillwater Medical Center is one of the guests speaking about Stillwater volunteer opportunities at the April 19 session of Making the Most of Retirement.

Making the Most of Retirement will host two organizations Wednesday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Stillwater Public Library in a program about local volunteer opportunities. Lisa Eckels from Stillwater Medical Center (SMC) and Whitney Johnson, Karman Korner Re-store will explain how retirees can enrich their lives by giving back to the community.

Johnson, Karman Korner Re-store manager, has been with the organization for over nine years. The shop currently has approximately 35 volunteers, some who are temporary and others who have been volunteering for 15 years or more.

“Some of our volunteers come to keep themselves active, and others may feel the need to give back because we have helped a loved one,” said Johnson, Karman Korner Re-store manager. “We try to make sure all volunteers enjoy the time that they are here helping. We get to know each other very well and have a lot of fun working.”

Volunteers at the store will find a wide array of tasks to tackle.

“Our Volunteers run and help at the register,” said Johnson. “They also take in donations, clean, tag, price and organize all merchandise and make displays on the sales floor and in the windows.”

The volunteers’ work pays off, providing much needed funds for families and patients of Judith Karman Hospice, Stillwater Medical Center Home Health and the Cancer Center at Stillwater Medical Center, who demonstrate financial need.

The Stillwater Medical Center is another Stillwater organization that gives retirees a chance to help their fellow community members.

According to Eckels, who has been with SMC for the past five years, the work to be done at the hospital is as vast and varied as the volunteers themselves.

“SMC volunteers do everything transporting patients to and from rooms and delivering flowers to installing lifeline and driving the shuttle. There are many different ways our volunteers can improve the patient experience.”

Eckels says that volunteers are also essential for providing patients with emotional support and helping them relieve stress. The rewards volunteers get in return are just as valuable.

“Meeting new people, making friends, learning new skills and forming bonds with both the guests and the staff are just some of the benefits of working at the hospital,” said Eckels. “You never know what people are going through or what a smile can do for someone. Volunteering gives you a chance to give back and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Making the Most of Retirement is a monthly program from OSU Emeriti that focuses on retirement. The programs are free and open to all retirees. On May 17, Pamela Murphy will speak on “Social Services Available to Stillwater’s Seniors,” and on June 21, Louise Schroeder will discuss “Planning for Costs Related to Caregiving.”

For more information, visit http://retiredinstillwater.wordpress.com or contact the library at 405-372-3633 x106 or askalibrarian@stillwater.org.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).  Visit the library online at http://library.stillwater.org.