For the past 35 years, volunteers have been going to Comanche County Memorial Hospital doing whatever they can – wherever they can. That’s why they’re called the heart of the hospital. People volunteer for many different reasons.
“I started doing it to have something to do when I retired from the City of Lawton,” Richard Carlson said. “I was sitting around the house doing nothing, and I saw a Medwatch saying they wanted volunteers, and I came up and started doing it, and I’ve been going ever since. I love it.”
Carlson volunteers four days a week taking medicine to either the cancer center or the different floors, the ER or ICU. This helps the nurses who would’ve had to run and get it themselves, allowing them to spend more time taking care of their patients’ needs.
“It’s a good feeling to see their faces when I hand them that medication because they’re either looking for it or they’re doing something else and may have forgotten about it for a second,” he said. “I hand it to them, and they say ‘oh, thank you very much.’ Their faces beam with it.”
Carlson takes his job seriously and tries to get the medicine to the nurses as quickly as possible.
“Monday’s and Thursday’s are my cancer center days,” Carlson said. “And there I can get anywhere from 6 to 7 miles in a 4-hour period, and on Tuesdays and Wednesday’s depending on how busy it is, I can get anywhere from 3 to 4 miles.”
Which is something he doesn’t mind at all. He said he’s lost 10 pounds since he started volunteering.
While he may be new to volunteering at the hospital, Ann Tubbs is not. She’s been giving her time at CCMH for 24 years.
“It’s something that I love to do,” Tubbs said. “I get to greet people. I get to comfort people. I get to tell people where to go. I enjoy my job, yes.”
Right now, Tubbs helps out at the front desk, but as you can imagine, she has volunteered at several different places within the hospital over the years.
“All of them are very rewarding,” she said.
Other volunteers you may see at the hospital are Paws With Love Therapy Dogs that are sure to bring a smile to the faces of those in the hospital. These pups regularly come and visit team members in the hospital and whoever else they meet along the way.
If you don’t want to come inside, there’s also a way you can volunteer from home sewing. These bears are sewn for patients in the ICU who just underwent open-heart surgery.
Officials say volunteers don’t have to come every day of the week.
Tubbs has this message for people who might want to volunteer: “There is a place for you to volunteer, a place where you will fit very well.”
If you’d like to become a volunteer, you can learn more by going to ccmhgiving.com or by calling or going to the front desk of Guest Relations.