Dick and Dee Grosz volunteer countless hours at Avera McKennan.
So many people do so many things to make the lives of those around them better and most of them do it under the radar, not expecting anything in return. But Nancy Naeve Brown wants to shine the light on some of the Heroes Among Us. She introduces us to a couple who have put in thousands of hours volunteering all over the Avera McKennan campus.
The men and women wearing the maroon vests and jackets that you see everyday all over the Avera Campus are considered by so many here to be the backbone of the system. There are 1200 volunteers working in 145 different departments.
"I don't think the hospital could run without them frankly. What they do, the interaction they have with patients and guests coming through helping them find their way. People are in an emotional state and can be confused and need their support and they are always here, "Jen Grossman, Director of Volunteer and Retail Services at Avera McKennan said.
When Dick and Dee Grosz retired in 2004 and moved from Yankton to Sioux Falls, the devout Catholics knew they wanted to give of their time here. And boy have they ever. Between the two of them clocked nearly 5,000 hours in the last 7 years.
"I look forward to it. When I get up in the morning and when it's my day to come in, I look forward to it. It's work in that sense but it's not a job. The best part of all is I'm going to meet up with other volunteers. Through the years here they've become my friends and I just love it here," Dee said.
Although Dick and Dee volunteer on the same days, they usually work in different places. The couple, who just celebrated 50 years together, both joke that working apart is key. Dick is an escort. On any given day he will log 6 miles taking patients and guests to where they need to be.
"Oh no. It's not a job no. Working with other people, working with other volunteer groups of escorts we have a lot of fun, "Dick said.
Jen Grossman says the Grosz's are always her go-to's because without hesitation they will go to work where ever and when ever needed.
"They both are just incredible people. I hope I can be somewhat like them. Hope they rub off on me," Jen said.
Dee has a variety of duties here at the Prairie Center. One most never see and would never even know about. She is in charge of typing in the names of current or past patients from the Avera Cancer Institute who have passed away so their family can be notified of Avera's Bereavement program. With every entry, she says a prayer. The know what it's like to be on the other side. They suffered heartache when 2 grandsons went through cancer treatments in the Twin Cities. Dee and Dick said so many people help them through difficult times, they wanted to return the favor.
"We are treated so well here. Everyone is so kind. From the top doctor to whatever job and oh the smiles you get. I do surgery hostess too and I call down to the recovery room and there is a nurse there that always says Oh Dee thanks for coming in today. That's worth a thousand dollars just to know they appreciate us being here. We get so many thank yous, " Dee says.
Here's one more from all of us who have had the great fortune of meeting you, been helped by you and have been blessed by a prayer from you.
Nancy wants to hear from you. Do you know a hero among us that flies under the radar. Please email Nancy with your nomination at email@example.com.
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