Jim has volunteered more than 14,000 hours of service over the past 18 years, and spends approximately 20 hours per week between Children’s Mercy’s Main campus and Children’ Mercy South. When Children’s Mercy South opened its expanded facility in January 2004, no volunteers were assigned to support the Inpatient Nurses. The first month the new unit opened, a busy flu season was underway. At that time, Jim was volunteering at the main campus only. Jim stepped up to the plate offering to be of service to the new Children’s Mercy South Inpatient unit bringing years of experience, boundless energy and a lively spirit to this fledgling area of the hospital. Jim had been volunteering on inpatient units at Children’s Mercy downtown since 1988.
Currently Jim serves in five different areas of the hospital including Same Day Surgery, Inpatient Units and Child Life. Jim does everything from holding babies needing comfort to restocking literature shelves, to helping families fill out forms in Surgery. To date Jim has donated more than 8,000 hours of his time supporting staff and assisting families at Children’s Mercy. This New Year’s Eve will be Jim’s tenth anniversary to bring in refreshments for the nursing staff at Children’s Mercy and to share his New Year’s Eve with patients and families.
From 2001 to 2003, Jim served as a para-educator for a developmentally challenged young boy. Jim attended third and fourth grades with the child to provide behavioral assistance in the classroom. Without Jim’s dedication to this young boy and his family, the boy may not have been able to finish his school program.
Jim also has been active at his church. For two weeks in December, 1996 Jim participated in a mission trip to Haiti. While the trip was a “medical” mission trip, the group also worked on building a school for underprivileged children. In 2000, the first year of his retirement, Jim volunteered at his church’s Parent’s Day Out, a day nursery serving dozens of children in his community.
Aside from the obvious tasks Jim accomplishes every day in his volunteer activity at Children’s Mercy, such as comforting ill babies and toddlers in distress with no parents or caregivers present; preparing procedure rooms for medical procedures; restocking supply areas; assisting in transport of children being discharged after surgery; helping families fill out complicated forms and giving a supportive smile to a tired nurse; many descriptive words come to mind. When Jim is here volunteering, there is an added sense of “security.” Jim has a way of bringing our hospital into a sense of “community.” Everyone knows him and he greets us all with a loving, positive demeanor. Jim service acts as a “model” for other volunteers. Jim “mentors” new volunteers and helps provide excellent “training” for them. Jim, now in his seventies, is a bundle of “spirit” and “activity.” The embodiment of commitment, Jim graces us with his presence at Children’s Mercy five days a week and has been a part of the hospital for 18 years. Jim’s love of life displays itself in his bringing sparkling grape juice to the hospital on New Year’s Eve to share with staff working on the units. Jim explains, “God willing, this will be my tenth year.” A quiet man, Jim often writes poetry to express his innermost thoughts. Jim truly personifies the “spirit” of love at Children’s Mercy. Without Jim, a bit of love we at Children’s Mercy are blessed to experience each day would be missing.