Lois Johns has been a volunteer with the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) since 1993, but her volunteer service goes back much farther! RSVP is a part of Senior Corps, under the Corporation for National & Community Service. The mission of RSVP is to identify the needs of our community, and address them by recruiting and placing senior volunteers in over 150 nonprofit and service agencies throughout southern Nevada.
Johns has been contributing to her community for over 30 years. She started volunteering at University Medical Center (UMC) in 1976. Suzanne Poisson, Volunteer Coordinator at UMC, stated that “Lois’s parents were hospitalized at UMC and because of the good care they received; she made a commitment to give back to the hospital by donating her time through volunteering.”
Johns volunteered in the Family Birth Care Unit, where the new mothers and the staff just loved and adored her. At UMC, Johns helped the staff in a variety of ways, from filling pitchers of water for the mothers to helping set up the baby cribs. She was always very considerate to the patients and staff.
In 2005, Johns decided to step down from volunteering at UMC, citing that her reason was not because she wanted to, but because the traffic and parking situation at the hospital was becoming too much of a problem for her, and taking her safety into consideration. There were several times when she had driven to UMC to volunteer but was unable to find a parking place, so she would have to turn around and head back home. After having several major surgeries, it was difficult for Johns to walk long distances.
The staff at UMC was sad to see Johns leave. However, Johns, at age 82, was not finished with her contribution to the community. She called up the RSVP office and offered her services wherever she was needed, and fortunately for the RSVP staff, a volunteer was actually needed in the office.
For the past several months now, Johns has been a tremendous asset to the office and to RSVP. Johns spends three days a week in the office, and her time spent volunteering is of immeasurable value. She is always willing to step in and do anything that is asked of her. Her ability to complete tasks in a timely and accurate manner always astonishes the RSVP staff; they even joke with Johns is that sometimes she can run circles around them! The tasks that Johns completes may seem minor to many, but they allow staff to focus on much larger issues and on the program as a whole. John’s disposition and bright smile really help to brighten up the office and make the workday much more enjoyable. Johns is the consummate example of an RSVP volunteer.