B. Ellen Smith learned the rewards of volunteering when she was a youngster growing up on a tobacco farm in eastern North Carolina.
The atmosphere of working together on a farm, helping each other in times of illness or just because help was needed, planted a seed of giving in Smith’s heart.
Throughout the years Smith has volunteered on school committees, with the Parent Teachers Association, at her church and as a charter member of Allen County Hospital Auxiliary, which was established in 1972.
In 2006 during a Hospital Auxiliaries of Kansas district meeting in Parsons, Smith became district coordinator for southeast Kansas and also became involved with the HAK board of directors.
In the past couple of years she has given her time as a member of Anderson County Hospital Auxiliary in Garnett.
“It is kind of funny how I became a member of the Garnett group. When I served as HAK district coordinator I visited their Auxiliary which was having a bierocks fund raiser. I thought I’d buy a couple dozen bierocks for my freezer and be on my way,” she said
While talking to Auxiliary members she learned about their involvement in Garnett’s hospital and decided she wanted to become a part of their energetic, service group. Among her activities with the Garnett group is reading the Bible to its long term care residents.
In November, Smith was installed as president of the state Auxiliary, a responsibility she gladly accepted with the hope that others become as enthused about volunteering as she is.
This year Allen County Hospital Auxiliary chose to discontinue its membership with state organization. Serving as president of HAK, her membership with Anderson County Auxiliary provided Smith the needed affiliation.
“I appreciate the support Anderson County has shown me,” she said.
Prior to becoming state president, Smith served two years as southeast Kansas district coordinator, a year as vice president and a year as president-elect.
SMITH SERVES as chairman for Allen County Hospital Auxiliary’s blood drive sponsored through Community Blood Center of Kansas City, which serves Allen County Hospital.
“I enjoy working at the blood drives,” she said.
As an advocate for blood donors she said she tries to visit with each person, help with registration, provide juice to rehydrate donors and contact former donors about upcoming blood drives.
Smith credits her success with the blood drives in Iola with support from fellow Auxiliary members Ruby Davis, Evelyn Lay, Shirley Robertson, Norma Barclay and Wilma Haen.
SMITH’S RESPONSIBILITIES as president of HAK will include writing a column for the Sunflower Auxilian.
Smith said she is excited to visit with Auxilians across the state and share their ideas with HAK board members.
“I enjoy giving to others and if I get just one smile back it makes my time as a volunteer worthwhile,” she said.
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