Youths give gift of time



August 9, 2010 - 12:00 AM

At the conclusion of the school year in May, Caressa Lowell said she began looking into opportunities to volunteer her time in the community.
She chose to be a junior volunteer at Allen County Hospital.
Lowell didn’t want to give just a few hours a week — she set her goal at 120 hours for the duration of the June and July program.
She not only met her goal but exceeded it by two hours.
Lowell and five other middle and high school youths gave a total of 290 hours of service to the hospital this summer.
Patricia Haner worked 62 hours, Megan Phillips, 46, Katie Shields, 38, Tessa Rowe, 12, and Tyler Shelby, 10.
The young volunteers worked in home health, medical records, radiology, with nurses on the first floor, in the office of the emergency room, in the kitchen, in administration and in human resources.
The experience of working in all areas of the hospital gave the youths insight into the many career paths offered in the medical field.
“I liked working with all the people and visiting the patients, but I don’t think I’ll pursue a career in the medical field,” Haner said.
Carrie Riebel of the Allen County Hospital Auxiliary served as the group’s mentor.
Riebel had likewise volunteered 30 years ago at the hospital as a candy striper in a program similar to today’s, which is sponsored by the Auxiliary.