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Volunteerism Helps Everyone

Havre, Montana – Volunteerism is defined as the policy or practice of volunteering one’s time or talents for charitable, educational, or other worthwhile activities, especially in one’s community. While the definition states that the act is considered to benefit others, it may ultimately be a great benefit to the individual as well. Studies have shown that volunteering is renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life.

“Northern Montana Health Care is a place where medical miracles happen almost daily.  We are a place where knowledgeable, caring professionals use their skills to provide excellent care at the patient’s bedside, in the “homes” of the residents who live at our Care Center, and to outpatients living independently or being cared for by their families.” states Claire Wendland, RN; Director of Volunteer Services at NMHC.  “It’s a place where healing can come not only by medical and surgical intervention; but by the touch of a hand, a shared smile or a knowing wink.  Truly a place where Volunteers can make a difference in the lives of the people we serve on a daily basis—because volunteers supply that special human connection.  It’s that connection that can transform a foreboding maze of hallways and treatment rooms into a cozy corner of the world.”

Volunteers are always in need at NMHC. The summer months present an excellent time for someone looking to get involved to get a feel for the needs of NMHC. While the schedules are entirely flexible and can be tailored around each individual’s schedule and interests, summer weather is usually easier to navigate and explore options. Summer is also an excellent time for students, aged 13-18 to try their hand at volunteering as part of the “Volunteen” program.

Wendland adds, “Volunteers give the gift of their time and talents to the community.  Usually we think of gifts as something we buy and give to others.  But there are other ways to give. . .and people in our community who would be delighted to receive a gift from you.  This year, why not consider giving the gift of your time by joining our Volunteer team?”

Some Volunteer Opportunities within Northern Montana Health Care:

Northern Stop ‘N Shop and Cottonwood Gift Shops

Sales associate volunteers help staff our well stocked gift shops, helping people select a perfect gift that is certain to please and bring a smile to someone’s face!  Our Volunteers wait on customers, cashier, stock and help display merchandise while providing great customer service and a unique shopping experience.

Patient Host/Hostess

This position allows the volunteer to provide comfort and therapeutic distraction for family, visitors and patients while receiving in-hospital care.  Assisting with way-finding, communication and collaboration with hospital staff members makes this volunteer opportunity ideal for the person who desires direct patient interaction and impact on the patient and family.

Information Desk

Acting as a greeter when people first arrive, these volunteers act as a hospitality host for visitors and business contacts as they enter our organization.  They provide directions to various departments, assist visitors in locating patients, sort and mark mail for patients and residents within our facilities and announce the arrival of business contacts to the various departments.  Their friendly warm smile and helpful attitude often helps patients and visitors relax in what can be a stressful situation.

Coffee Cart

Each afternoon a beverage cart filled with a variety of fresh juice, coffee and tea travels the hallways of the patient care and resident wings, offering refreshments to patients, residents and their visitors.  The volunteer brings news and a friendly face from the surrounding community.

Mail Delivery

Each weekday morning, a volunteer delivers the mail that arrives for our patients and residents.  Sometimes the volunteer will assist Care Center residents in opening their letters and greeting cards and read them to them if necessary.  A cheery greeting or short visit makes a big difference in the day of the people under our care.

Flower Cart

Volunteers with a “green thumb” and a love of flowers find satisfaction in watering the plants and freshening the bouquets that have been delivered to the patients and residents within our facilities.

Special Activities

Volunteers assist the activities department at the Care Center with activities to provide a quality life for the special people who make their home with us.  Assistance with Bingo, current events, walking club, fishing trips, attendance at the county fair, church services and monthly birthday parties are just some of the opportunities available.

Foot Clinics

Several times a month outreach foot clinics are held in Havre and the surrounding communities to promote a higher quality of health care to our senior population.  Volunteers assist the professional staff in pulling client files, insuring that all documents needed to record care given are available; scheduling future appointments; collecting payment for services and filling client basins with warm antibacterial soap and water.


Caring Volunteers receive specialized training to assist professionals in providing rest and emotional support to patients and their loved ones; allowing terminal patients to live their last days to the fullest, at home in familiar surroundings.

Other areas are also available.  It you have a special talent or interest, please visit with the staff at Senior & Volunteer Services.  Call Claire Wendland at 262-1327 or Mim Tchida at 262-1330.

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