Volunteers at State Hospital Facilities

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Each of the state hospital facilities has a Community Relations Office which is the contact for its volunteer program to improve the quality of life for the clients.

Volunteer Services

Volunteers provide services in a variety of locations like offices, at home, on units with clients, board rooms, donation rooms, outdoors, libraries, chapels, recreation rooms, and through activities such as adopting a unit, clerical assistance, celebrations and special activities, landscaping, pet therapy, arts and crafts, recreation, processing donated clothing, cemetery improvements, entertaining, spiritual activities, advocacy, and fund-raising.

Organizations

Separate non-profit organizations, Volunteer Services Councils (VSC), partner with state hospitals to enhance the lives of the clients and state hospital operations.

  • Donations most often requested include new and gently used clothing and shoes, toiletries, personal items, holiday gifts, electronics, special meals, entertainment, furnishings, tickets to cultural and sporting events, and art supplies.
  • Funds are raised provide landscaping, shade pavilions, special furnishings, electronic equipment, lodging for family members to visit, art supplies, trams for transportation, and other items.

Facilities

The type and amount of activities and donations varies at each facility. If you would like to volunteer at a state hospital facility, please see below to visit the website and see contact information for the location in which you are interested:

Recognition

Each state hospital has its own local volunteer recognition activities.   

DSHS honors and recognizes volunteers who model outstanding commitments in improving the quality of life for the clients at the state hospitals.

 

2014 State Hospital Volunteer Recognition Awards


COMMUNITY LEADER AWARD

Joy Vostatek – ASH

Upon joining the VSC Board, Joy immediately jumped right in and became heavily involved by taking the lead as Chair of a newly formed committee for the "Beautification Project", an improvement project created to enhance the quality of life for patients at ASH. With a $150,000 budget, Joy’s commitment to the project was evident as she worked diligently with ASH leadership in identifying special unit needs. She took it one step further by getting all the bids for the specific items identified which was a task that exceeded a substantial amount of time and energy. Over the 15 month project, Joy was tasked with adding positive activities and equipment all over the ASH campus. Joy was responsible for obtaining the bids for over 25 different items. In addition, she worked with the safety and risk management and the maintenance departments ensuring all items met safety code standards. With Joy’s upbeat and persuasive personality, she was able to get almost every single vendor to reduce their initial price resulting in the VSC’s budget being enhanced. The impact of Joy’s volunteer service is enormous as her gift of time provided not only essential exercise and therapy equipment, but it also beautified the units from the ground up. From gardening equipment, exercise supplies, and therapeutic spaces, the VSC was thrilled to further its mission financially in such a meaningful and visible way. It was Joy’s passion and the VSC’s privilege to create such an inviting space for patients.   


Muffet Bomar - BSSH

Muffet Bomar, longtime member of the First United Methodist Church in Big Spring, approached BSSH’s Community Relations Department in 2012 with her vision of providing a church-sponsored, hands-on ministry for the hospital’s female clients. Muffet introduced “Spa Day” to our female clients in September 2012. The event became an immediate success and is offered monthly to an eager clientele. Muffet’s Spa Day vision has helped eliminate barriers and alleviated the social stigma many people view toward mental illness. Her vision to help women recover from mental illness, and look their very best, has made strides on the female unit. Hospital personnel immediately noted an increased level of self-awareness since Muffet’s “Spa Day” was introduced. The community members Muffet recruited have all commented on how much they have benefitted from participating in this event. Several volunteers who were not familiar with BSSH said the event gave them a different perspective of the hospital and the clients. Our clients and staff have expressed favorable reports regarding Muffet’s community service and have noted that it has given many of the women a positive outlook regarding their appearance and self-confidence. Our patients enjoy the interaction from valued members of our community and recognize that the church members are interested in their lives and well-being. The event also created positive feedback in the community; volunteers have shared their positive experience with peers; there has been an increase in community support; and the event appeared in the local newspaper. Muffet truly symbolizes a Community Leader who searched for a need and fulfilled it to help our clients.

 

GROUP SERVICE AWARD

The Chalet Resale Shop – BSSH

Ruth Nanny and her team of selfless volunteers at The Chalet Resale Shop have worked tirelessly, transforming The Chalet from a low-key, makeshift garage sale into a successful quarter of a million dollar annual operation. It is noteworthy that during 2014, this group of altruistic individuals, contributed 15,246 hours of their time at The Chalet to support the mission of BSSH. Open only 3 hours per day, 6 days per week, The Chalet brings in over $1,000.00 each business day. All proceeds from The Chalet directly benefit the patients of Big Spring State Hospital. The proceeds have been used to fund the construction of a Family Visitation Center; the purchase of a patient transport van; to support all recovery endeavors; to provide funds for Christmas parties and gifts; and to maintain existing projects that were previously funded with volunteer funds. This group of volunteers are hard-working, salt-of-the –earth individuals, who want nothing in return, except to provide assistance for the patients at BSSH. They believe in recovery and in our hospital. Above all, they support our patients.


UT Tyler Mental Health Services Class - RSH

UT Tyler Mental Health Services Class has been a strong supporter of our clients as a tour group/party group under the direction of their instructor, Lauren Perry, for over 15 years. Ms. Perry brings classes for tours of our facility every semester but they never show up empty handed. They arrive as a group giving a party to an entire unit when they visit, bearing gifts and vegetable trays, chips, dips, cupcakes, etc., which are a treat for our clients. They conduct clothing drives for our Clothing Store on an annual basis. These clothing drives give us a wonderful addition to our inventory and impact the lives of all the patients served at Rusk State Hospital. This group also makes an extra trip the first semester of the year to provide a Christmas party for our geriatric unit, impacting approximately 28 patients at that time. These college students spend their own money to bring Christmas gifts and refreshments for the parties they give. They bring games, sing songs, and just simply talk to our patients. Ms. Perry encourages the students to embrace service to others, especially those struggling with mental illness.

 

ROOKIE AWARD

Morgan Miller – TSH

UT Tyler Mental Health Services Class has been a strong supporter of our clients as a tour group/party group under the direction of their instructor, Lauren Perry, for over 15 years. Ms. Perry brings classes for tours of our facility every semester but they never show up empty handed. They arrive as a group giving a party to an entire unit when they visit, bearing gifts and vegetable trays, chips, dips, cupcakes, etc., which are a treat for our clients. They conduct clothing drives for our Clothing Store on an annual basis. These clothing drives give us a wonderful addition to our inventory and impact the lives of all the patients served at Rusk State Hospital. This group also makes an extra trip the first semester of the year to provide a Christmas party for our geriatric unit, impacting approximately 28 patients at that time. These college students spend their own money to bring Christmas gifts and refreshments for the parties they give. They bring games, sing songs, and just simply talk to our patients. Ms. Perry encourages the students to embrace service to others, especially those struggling with mental illness.

 

ADDITIONAL ROOKIE AWARDS

Cresandra Polk – WCY – VSC Leader with a "go-getter spirit" hosts monthly unit birthday parties, donates several handmade season wreaths, crosses, and wall art for auction at fundraising events, hosts fundraisers and events, solicits sponsors, and interacts positively with clients to enhance their lives. 

Beyond Fitness – RSH – provides birthday parties for patients, conducted a clothing drive to improve the Clothing Store inventory, and offered exercise classes for hospital staff. 

Laurine Aubin – RSH – exchange student from France; engaged patients despite her language barrier, provided authentic French pastries for an SECC bake sale that helped make it a success. 

Samuel Balemba – RGSC – Volunteer Pharmacist Assistant is dependable, full of energy, and sets an example for others with his continuous cheerful disposition. 

David Colbert – ASH – Peer Support Volunteer, provides help to others with hope, empathy, and understanding, his gift of service is felt throughout the hospital, he is enthusiastic and dedicated. 

Pat Hardison – BSSH – embraced the challenge of being responsible for the Men’s Department at The Chalet Resale Shop, with her strong organizational skills, work ethic, and a keen eye for detail and presentation.


SERVICE INDUCTION AWARDS

35 YEARS – Carolyn Lee Family – SASH - VSC / Patient Picnics/ Data Conversion
33 YEARS – The Chalet Resale Shop – BSSH – Community Engagement / Fundraiser
30 YEARS - USAA Seasons of Sharing – SASH – December Holiday Parties for Patients
30 YEARS – The Little Flower Alter Society – SASH – Visits Patients / Parties for Patients
30 YEARS – Northwest Field & Stream – NTSH – Hosts annual Fishing Party / Holiday Donations
24 YEARS – Bexar County Constable Precinct 4 – SASH – Patient Picnics/ Holiday Parties
19 YEARS – Sedalia Jones – NTSH – Chaplaincy

No nominations received for Youth Service Award for 2014.

 

Contact Us

For more information on nominations and award criteria, please contact DSHS Community Relations State Hospitals Section, State Office at (512) 206-5161.

2013 State Hospital Volunteer Recognition Awards

2012 State Hospital Volunteer Recognition Awards

 

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Last updated May 29, 2015