We feature volunteers to showcase the commitment to service of Asante Volunteers. If you have a story to tell about your volunteer experiences, we want to hear it!
"Volunteer and Live to the Fullest"
Carroll Graber, Asante Volunteer
Retirement is the beginning of an all-new life, and volunteering your time is a great way to start. You can help your community, stay in the game, and make lasting friendships.
Carroll Graber, 80, retired from teaching music and started a new career as a volunteer at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center 25 years ago. He is still enjoying it today. “I love to walk people to where they are going and just talk with them,” he says.
An upbeat person with a sparkling laugh, Carroll is an escort volunteer. He transports patients from admitting to their room, assists in the discharge of patients, or helps them find their way to medical records, rehabilitation, cardiovascular services, or the infusion room. “It’s a very large hospital,” he explains. “My desire is for our hospital to provide the best medical services to our community. This filters down to each person entering our building, whatever their need.”
As a three-time cancer survivor, Carroll knows that need personally. He was a patient at Asante Rogue Regional in 1984. “I vividly recall when I was on the receiving end of this hospital’s services,” he says. “My cancer caused me to have a total gastrectomy. I had wonderful care, and I am enjoying giving back in my service now. We are admonished in the scriptures to be a servant to those in need. And we are commanded to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. What better way to help our fellow man and to please God at the same time!”
When he volunteers, Carroll feels that his life is filled with purpose and satisfaction. “There is a connection with society that nourishes my soul,” he explains. He enjoys and needs those social contacts and relationships, and involvement with others prevents boredom, loneliness, and even illness. Any situation in which people meet regularly to work together on some common cause will result in deepening relationships, he says. “It warms the soul to be a part of such a service to society.”
Carroll agrees that volunteering is good for the volunteer, but he advises anyone in retirement to stay young and connected in other ways. “At the very core for me has to be staying in a wonderful relationship with my Heavenly Father in whom I put my full trust in every situation, including surviving three cancers,” he says. Also very important, is a loving spouse who provides a wonderful home and healthy food. “Together out lifestyle brings happiness and gratitude for our life here in Medford,” he explains.
In addition, Carroll recommends keeping busy in life, exercise if you can, join an organization or church, and be with people. “I sing in two choral groups, play tennis, go to concerts, and play in and help direct a bell choir.”
“To be a good volunteer you need a pleasant attitude and you need to be happy to meet people. It’s contagious,” Carroll says. “In trying to add humor, I often say that I push survivors out; meaning that they are now well and glad to be going home. The most positive and memorable experience I receive in volunteering is the simple thank you I get every time I push a patient out to their car.”