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Local Volunteer Retires from SCRMC

Posted on January 17, 2019

Local Volunteer Retires from South Central Regional Medical Center

For over 16 years those who entered the family surgery waiting area at South Central Regional Medical Center were greeted with a gentle smile and a warm embrace by Mrs. Charlene Todd. Mrs. Todd served as an integral part of South Central Regional Medical Center’s Volunteer Services and has recently retired to spend more time with her children, grandson and dog, Charlie.

Ms. Charlene Todd (center) with members of Surgery Department at SCRMC

“Many years ago, Mrs. Bonnie Smith, the Volunteer Services Coordinator at SCRMC, spoke at my church about the joy volunteerism can bring to others and yourself,” said Mrs. Todd. “I felt led to spend my time giving back to others. Throughout my time as a volunteer I have been able to assist in many roles.”

As a volunteer, Charlene would deliver flowers to the inpatient rooms, assist at the Information Desk, and lend support at blood drives and community health fairs. But over time, she found her passion for volunteering was in the family waiting area.

“Family members would be anxiously waiting to receive updates for their loved one and I found that I could provide comfort during that time,” said Mrs. Todd. “I never meet a stranger, so when I saw someone who needed reassurance or someone to listen to their worries while waiting, I would sit, hold their hand and listen.”

Mrs. Todd has raised a family, served four years in the Navy, worked at local businesses and continued to devote her time to others. Charlene was married to James Todd for 54 years before his passing. Mr. and Mrs. Todd have two children, Jamie (Todd) Strebeck and Jeff Todd and one grandson, Jareth. When asked how she plans to spend her retirement from volunteerism, she replied, “drinking coffee and spending time with family and my dog, Charlie.”

Ms. Todd (second from right) pictured with family members during Volunteer Reception

Bonnie Smith spoke about the respect she has for Mrs. Todd. “Charlene always took ownership of everything she did. She made sure to keep the patients’ families informed. For instance, when it was time for her to leave for the day, she would make sure each family knew who the new volunteer was and how to receive updates on their loved one.”

Along with helping patients, Charlene would also help the SCRMC volunteers.

“Charlene recruited several of her friends to our volunteer team. She had a passion for service, so she would often train new volunteers for their roles.”

As a volunteer at SCRMC, Charlene donated over 9,500 hours of service. During this time the Surgery Department staff, physicians, and visitors at SCRMC became like family.  “I looked forward to Thursdays and Fridays because I could spend my time helping others and visiting with our guests.”

“God put us here to show the good and share His word,” stated Mrs. Todd. “I hope that through my years at SCRMC, each person I have met will remember these words.”

The respect and admiration of Mrs. Todd goes beyond being a volunteer. She has spent many years proving this to others in her kind actions and warm words.

“Charlene is a special person that each of us looks upon in a heartfelt way, and I hope she knows the impact she has had on so many families during her time,” stated Smith. “To me, she is what volunteerism is all about.”

Volunteering makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. According to medical studies, volunteering also helps those who are offering their time. From lowering stress to boosting self-confidence, volunteering offers many health and mental benefits—especially for older adults.

Benefits of volunteering include:

  • Decreased depression
  • Increased self-confidence and sense of purpose
  • Maintaining mental and physical activity
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Experiencing happiness and joy
  • Developing friendships

If you are ready to experience these benefits, South Central Regional Medical Center invites you to apply to become a volunteer. Volunteering for SCRMC offers many opportunities of service for individuals, ages 16 years old and up. To apply, please visit our website at scrmc.com/community/volunteers, email bsmith@scrmc.com or call 601-426-4704 today.