NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Celebrates Volunteers with Gala at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

May 1, 2017

Four women sitting at a table smiling for a photo

Names and neighborhoods of volunteers (left to right): Yvonne Bonaventure, Midwood; Kathleen O'Donnell, Windsor Terrace; Olivia Guppy, Greenwood Heights; and Renee Adler, Brooklyn Heights.

Brooklyn, New York - NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital has always maintained that “amazing things bloom wherever our volunteers are planted.” So it is only fitting that the Hospital recently held its annual Volunteer Gala at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Approximately 240 volunteers attended the event, which featured a cocktail hour in the garden, dinner in the glass Palm House and speeches from Hospital administrators.

A woman wearing a purple jacket

Susan Levy, Park Slope

Richard Liebowitz, MD, president of NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist, thanked the volunteers for their service to the Hospital’s patients and staff, which totaled over 100,000 hours (donated by more than 1000 volunteers) in 2016. “A hospital exists to serve its community,” he said. “If you have community members volunteering their time, it demonstrates that they understand the importance of the institution.”

Wendy Froede, director of volunteer services, emphasized that the volunteers don’t just provide critical operational support for the Hospital; they also offer emotional support for patients. “When a volunteer comforts a patient, even when they do not speak the same language, there blooms kindness and compassion,” she said. “When you hold a patient’s hand while blood is drawn, or listen to a patient tell you about her husband of 67 years who is now in the ICU, there empathy grows. This generosity leaves a lasting impression.”

Two women smiling for a photo

Judith Eloise Hooper, Park Slope; and Yelena Lavrona, Bensonhurst

Victoria Rodriguez, a recent graduate of Brooklyn College and resident of Kensington, said that volunteering at the Hospital has motivated her to join the nursing profession. She volunteers in the Emergency Department, bringing blankets and socks for patients and lending a sympathetic ear. “I try to make their visits as comfortable as I can,” she said. Ms. Rodriguez noted that she felt the elegant dinner and the beautiful setting demonstrated respect and appreciation for her work. “It really makes volunteers like me feel like we are a vital part of the Hospital community.”

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