“It’s a Joy” to Volunteer at the Gift Shop
When Miriam Cressman, RN, retired after 28 years as a nursing coordinator at Virginia Mason’s Transplant Center, she didn’t really leave. She stayed to volunteer four hours a week at the Seattle medical center’s Serenity Gift Shop. Miriam travels to Seattle from Vashon Island where she and her husband take care of horses, dogs and a large home garden.
“I’ve been volunteering for two years and I love working here,” says Miriam. “I stay connected to Virginia Mason, which is like my home. I’m really proud of the care and service the staff provides and the way everything keeps improving. Working at the gift shop is my way to give back to Virginia Mason.”
It’s also fun. “Patients, families and staff members love to come in and see the new merchandise. I love it too!” she exclaims. “It’s a joy to see people and talk with them. This is a good place for people to take a deep breath and take a break from their day, which might be difficult or stressful. We really do offer some ‘serenity’ like the name of the gift shop.”
“The gift shop wouldn’t be able to function without the help of our dedicated and great volunteers,” says supervisor Megan Druckman. “We’re a non-profit and the proceeds support the hospital. We’re all proud we can support patient programs.” The gift shop carries a wide variety of merchandise including chocolates, flowers, magazines, soaps, plush animals, jewelry, candles, lotions, Glassybaby votives, greeting cards and more.
Volunteers help improve the patient experience at Virginia Mason and many opportunities are available.