Volunteer Spotlight: Loretta Bringer

Volunteering at a hospital is a great way to discover if a career in health care is right for you. It can also be very rewarding. Here’s Loretta’s story.

Loretta Bringer
Loretta Bringer

“I have been a volunteer for Hannibal Regional Hospital for almost ten years. I was retiring from a business career of 46 years and my younger brother was diagnosed with brain cancer that took his life after two months. His treatment and some hospital stays were at Hannibal Regional. The doctors and nurses were so kind to him and his family and I felt led to want to be part of volunteering at a place that had been compassionate to my family.

The best part of volunteering is the people you meet. Many folks just need a word of encouragement or understanding and they need someone to listen. I have worked in different areas of volunteering and find this to be true in every place I have worked. As a volunteer, you need to be happy to be there and the time you work goes fast because you are committed to helping others. We had a request for someone to sing hymns to a patient that was dying. Her daughter thought this would comfort her and I did that, although it is outside the box of normal volunteering.

I volunteer in the gift shop at our hospital and enjoy selling and helping people find the right gift that brings cheer to a patient or a baby gift that is for an exciting time in the family. I have helped a young girl with 85 cents that wanted to buy her mother a gift who had a new baby at a late age. She had been ill and the girl wanted to do something for her. Of course, that didn’t buy much and with a small amount of help we found something.”