Daily Point of Light # 2299 Nov 26, 2002

Anne Banfield is a 34-year-old woman with Down’s syndrome. Banfield began volunteering at the W.H. Hundley Annex, the long-term care facility of Community Memorial Healthcenter, immediately upon her graduation from high school. She became a member of the Auxiliary of the Healthcenter in 1988, and has since logged over 10,000 hours of volunteer service. She runs errands, helps transport residents of the Annex to the beauty shop and to various recreational activities, helps out with Bingo, plays the piano, and distributes smiles, hugs and kisses on a frequent basis. Everyone who comes into contact with Banfield at the Hospital adores her.

A friendly, helpful person is always a welcomed sight for anyone, and the elderly confined to long-term care are no exception. Many of the hospital residents have only a minimal number of relatives and friends that visit on a regular basis. Banfield’s daily companionship offers them the sociable encounter that otherwise may be absent. Banfield builds connections one person at a time and each receives her undivided and individualized attention. She greets everyone she encounters with a smile, “good morning,” and a hug that is special, just for him or her.

Having topped the 10,000 hours of volunteer service at the W.S. Hundley Annex, Banfield continues to accumulate service hours by helping every weekday and she has no plans to slow her pace. Currently, she serves over 125 hours per month.

Banfield is a member of the Activity staff and carries out her duties faithfully. One of her jobs is to assist the residents coming and going to and from events. She does this by driving the elevator to bring the residents from the first and second floors to the basement Activity/Dining room, where most of the activities take place. Banfield knows all of the residents and where they live. She is courteous and concerned for their safety.

Banfield also takes an active role in the activities by passing out prizes for Bingo, serving food and assisting residents with eating during socials and parties, actively participating in games like bowling, shuffleboard, parachute fun and exercises, wheelchair square dancing and line dancing, sing-a-longs, special events like proms, talent and fashion shows, and many more events too numerous to mention.

Banfield, on any given day, provides interaction for each of the 140 residents, their family members and the 150 staff who are employed at the facility. And residents and staff alike know immediately upon meeting her that she is their friend for life. While many of us may lack the strength or power to overcome “boundaries,” she chose to “go beyond” hers and because of that, the world is a much more beautiful place for the residents and those connected with the Healthcenter, the Annex and the community.