Everyone knows that hospital visits aren’t the most enjoyable experiences. Luckily, many kind people take time out of their days to volunteer at hospitals to make those moments easier for all of us. Mary Ellen Owens, a 98-year old woman in Florida, is one of those people.
Decades of volunteer work
This incredible 98-year-old woman has volunteered for almost 7000 hours – which translates to 291 full days! Although her age prevents her from coming as often as she did before, when she volunteered three days a week, the dedicated woman has not yet stopped helping others.
She volunteers for a shift at least once a week, another volunteer picks her up, and her 4-hour shift starts. What’s most incredible is that she has been doing this for more than twenty years.
An interesting life story
Mrs. Owens got to this point in her life quite unexpectedly. She was a model in her home state of Virginia and later moved to New York.
There, she got an opportunity to play a part in the classic hit movie „Gone with the Wind“ – but she turned it down.
Her first encounter with the hospital she would end up spending so many hours it was not a happy one. Nearly 25 years ago, her husband, a patient of the hospital, passed away.
That horrible experience was made a little easier because of the kindness and support of the volunteers and employees at Morton Plant Hospital.
After that, Mrs. Owens decided she had to pay them back somehow. The best way she knew how to show her gratitude was with her time and effort.
Still going strong
Over the past twenty years, during those long 7000 hours, nearly 5000 were at the front desk of the hospital. Mrs. Owens was, for almost thirty years, the person most people saw first when coming to the hospital, and she never fails to get a smile or cheer someone up.
And in her own words, she’s looking forward to thousands of more laughs and thousands of more hours helping others in their time of need.