Volunteering tugs at Plummer’s heartPublished 9:17pm Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Adorned with blue or pink vests, the many volunteers who represent almost every department inside the Vaughan Regional Medical Center seem like a permanent fixture to the facility. But, their presence would not be possible without the help of volunteer Martha Plummer.
Plummer, who is hospital auxiliary vice president, along with auxiliary president Shirley Pugh, is responsible for hiring the friendly caretakers one sees when entering the hospital.
“We’re responsible for bringing on new volunteers, interviewing new volunteers and placing them in different areas we work in the hospital,” Plummer said.
Plummer has worked intermittently with Vaughan for 12 years. And, after retiring from civil service after 30 years, volunteering has been a job that keeps tugging.
“I volunteered, then worked here … it’s been back and forth,” Plummer said. “I worked in case management and social services and switchboard. I retired from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.”
As it is with many of the volunteers, Plummer enjoys helping others.
“I like meeting new people, helping people, taking them to their rooms (and) taking them flowers and cards and seeing smiles on their faces when you take them the flowers and cards,” Plummer said. “I work Tuesday all day — in Echo in the morning, and front desk and gift shop in the afternoon.”
And when it comes to picking the “perfect volunteer,” Plummer said there are key things she looks for.
“The first question we ask them is ‘why do you want to become a volunteer?’” Plummer said. “They give us references and we check them out. The process is almost like hiring an employee.
“We kinda like an outspoken person — friendly,” Plummer said. “We love to see someone with a big smile on their face, poise and (if they are) neat. You definitely have to be willing to help people — that’s the No. 1 goal here.”
Plummer also takes her volunteering efforts to the Cedar Hill Assisted Living Facility and Cahaba Hospice Inc. She also serves meals at First Baptist Church, where she is a member.
And when she’s not volunteering, Plummer enjoys art — recently taking lessons from local artist Sister Judy Kaiser.
“I love doing art,” Plummer said. “I’ve drawn different things — I don’t have one thing in particular. I’ve only drawn for about two years. I really do enjoy it — it relaxes me.”