Giving service sharing smiles

Although they are retired, Harvey and Carroll Schoon consider their current positions at Trinity Regional Medical Center as the best jobs they have ever had.

Personal experience with TRMC volunteers and their assistance inspired the Schoons to become volunteers themselves. The couple has volunteered at Trinity for the past 16 years and have both helped in various areas of the hospital.

“I’d had cancer surgery about 20 years ago and we got really connected with the volunteers and things like this,” said Harvey Schoon. “We needed something to do, and this was a good way to return the favor.”

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Carroll Schoon can be found at desks in various hospital department’s waiting rooms, and Harvey Schoon is often at the main entrance providing wheelchairs to patients, giving directions and assisting with patients who have been discharged.

“I wheel people to wherever they need to go, and since the new bigger entrance was added we answer a lot more questions and give a lot of directions,” said Harvey Schoon. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”

“It does us a lot of good,” said Carroll Schoon.

Volunteers can give as many hours as they wish per week, but the Schoons dedicate most of their mornings during the week to their volunteer service.

“We spend most of our time here,” said Harvey Schoon. “Usually about 16 to 20 hours a week. We’re usually here by about 7:30 every day.”

Carroll Schoon said one benefit of volunteering has been that is has allowed them to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

“It keeps us active,” she said. “Sometimes you see people maybe even younger than you come through who just aren’t in good shape and I realize, I could be there if I wasn’t doing something.”

“I’d recommend it to anyone,” said Harvey Schoon.

Both worked in Fort Dodge for many years and said they often see familiar faces come through the doors.

“You do see a lot of familiar faces,” said Carroll Schoon. “And it’s also amazing how many people come here from a long distance.”

The Schoons strive to provide service with a smile, and know it can make all the difference when many of the people they assist aren’t feeling well.

“If we see someone without a smile, we give them one of ours,” said Carroll Schoon. “We’ve been on their side too, and know they aren’t always feeling their best , but sometimes all you have to do is smile to get even a little smile back from the patient.”

“We really do like what we do,” said Harvey Schoon. “It gives us a reason to get up and get going every day.”