Stamford Health is thankful for the many volunteers that make a difference at the hospital every day. Our staff ensures that our volunteers are well-matched and well-recognized for their individual strengths and talents, with a fit for everyone – from teenagers to adults! Today, we're spotlighting Eric Joosten, who we've been lucky to call a volunteer for nearly seven years. We hope his story may inspire you to volunteer; you can learn more about our volunteer opportunities here.
Thank you for all you do for Stamford Health! How long have you been volunteering?
I've held two positions. I started in January 2016 at the front desk at the Tully Center. And in September 2020, I started at Stamford Hospital’s Finance Department.
What do you typically do on your shifts?
At the Tully Center, I volunteer as a receptionist, directing people to their appropriate destinations and answering the phones. Since I speak Spanish, I'm able to help the Spanish-speaking patients.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I had a career in business. When I retired, I felt I should give back to my community. The hospital seemed to be a good fit. Everyone who enters needs help to navigate their way. So I felt I could use my [Spanish] language skills for those in need.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is interacting with the people, and the people who I work with.
How often do you volunteer?
At the Tully Center, I volunteer one morning a week, religiously.
At the Hospital's Finance Department, it’s up and down — sometimes once a week, sometimes once a month. Last year, when they moved, I volunteered five days a week because they needed to move everything and get organized.
When Covid hit, the Hospital Foundation was collecting donations from the community, which they did at Tully’s Grace Auditorium. I volunteered with a friend for three to four months, collecting donations. It was kind of cool — I felt I was doing something for Covid instead of staying home and doing nothing. I was actually here helping and doing my little thing in the bigger scheme of things.
Do you have any advice for others looking to get involved?
My advice is start volunteering somewhere and you can always look somewhere else if it’s not a great fit — because there are great fits. There are a large number of volunteer opportunities at the hospital. I’ve had three major volunteer opportunities here and I've enjoyed every one.
Don’t be afraid if you don't know something, because I didn’t know anything about hospitals. I'm a finance guy! But there are plenty of people around to help you get to know what’s going on and to help you learn.
At the end of the day when I go home, I know I've helped someone at the hospital.