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Scott volunteer hunts opportunities, logs 25,000 hours

| Thursday, June 3, 2010

For 42 years, June Schriber has kept track of her volunteer hours at St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon, marking her progress neatly on time cards dating back to June 1968.

On Wednesday at the St. Clair Hospital Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, Schriber was recognized for 25,000 volunteer hours. The record of 35,000 hours is held by former volunteer Ginny Jamieson.

"I feel very fortunate to be healthy enough to do all these things," said Schriber, 88, of Scott. "It's been a pleasure of mine for years."

Schriber, a former secretary, found herself drawn to volunteering after she and her husband moved from Chicago to Pittsburgh in 1959. At the encouragement of her sister-in-law, Schriber began spending her days at St. Clair, first as a escort and an unpaid receptionist, then as a liaison between doctors and families in the surgical waiting room.

"Everything you do is important," Schriber said of being a volunteer. "I've never been unhappy thinking I have to get up and volunteer today."

After volunteering up to 40 hours a week for 10 years in the surgical waiting room, Schriber decided to begin lending her business expertise and clerical skills to the hospital. These days, she spends her Tuesdays at the hospital and, beginning recently, her Mondays at Family Hospice and Palliative Care filing medical records.

"She is an invaluable resource to our department," said Georgianne Williams, the hospital's director of volunteer services and Schriber's boss for 13 years. "Our volunteers are the heart and soul of this hospital. The work they do, the kindness they demonstrate, greatly impact on the perception of patients and visitors regarding the quality of the hospital."

At yesterday's luncheon, 13 senior volunteers who collectively contributed 145,000 hours got special awards, while 17 others received 10-year service pins. In all, 64 volunteers were recognized.

Last year, more than 500 senior and junior volunteers contributed in excess of 92,000 hours of service.

Margaret Conners has volunteered with Schriber since 1985.

"She always has a smile on her face, and you can always rely of her," Conners said. "She's just a delightful person to be around -- an amazing woman."

Now spending her days at St. Clair keeping track of uniforms and time logged by volunteers, Schriber said she is thrilled to reach the 25,000-hour mark.

"I've worked under four different directors of volunteers, made numerous close friends, and every position I did was my favorite," Schriber said. "I have received a lot more than I have given."

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