Linda first came to El Camino Hospital Los Gatos to visit her father who was in the Intensive Care Unit. Born and raised in San Jose, she had only heard about the community hospital but had never been on campus. During her father’s stay, the hospital and particularly the staff left a lasting impression on she and her family.
“We were blown away by the quality of care that we experienced during such a challenging time,” Linda recalls. “I remember the Auxiliary volunteers in particular; they were extremely attentive and even brought us coffee and newspapers when they would check in. I decided then that when I retired I would volunteer at the hospital.”
The next time Linda came to the hospital was for her volunteer orientation. She started out in the Mother-Baby unit and at the information desk. She would have occasional projects in the Rehabilitation Center as well, making rounds and assisting patients. Linda felt comfortable early on, and she appreciated the smaller campus because she got to know many staff and volunteers and quickly became familiar with all of the hospital’s departments and units.
“This is a unique volunteer program. El Camino Hospital Los Gatos is an intimate setting, with attentive and warm staff, which makes you feel like you’re at home. Everyone from nurses to doctors and administrative staff are very supportive of the volunteers; they really make us feel appreciated.”
Nine years after joining, Linda is now the Vice President and Director of Membership for the Auxiliary in Los Gatos. She maintains the volunteer database, interviews and places new volunteers, and also works with junior volunteers, among other projects. She’s most enjoyed coordinating membership for junior volunteers, saying that “it’s a gratifying experience to see how young kids come in and absorb information and evolve over the course of their time with the Auxiliary.”
The volunteers all know each other well and communicate closely, which results in close and lasting friendships. “Everyone is here on their own time because they genuinely want to help others and contribute to a positive care experience for patients, visitors and families.”
A mother of four and grandmother of nine, Linda leads an active life outside the hospital, but she doesn’t see herself retiring from the El Camino Hospital Auxiliary anytime soon. She looks forward to each volunteer shift—seeing what’s new at the hospital, how many babies were born, and what community events are coming up. When she staffs the information desk, many patients and visitors stop by to say thank you and show their appreciation on their way out.
“The great thing about volunteering is that you can commit as little or as much time as you want, and it’s still extremely rewarding. You get to directly impact the lives of others in a positive way, and there are so many different things you can do and areas you can work in.”
There are currently about 145 volunteers at the Los Gatos campus, including junior volunteers. Learn more about the diverse Auxiliary Volunteer Opportunities available.