Celebrating Volunteers

Celebrating Volunteers: Ruth Macbeth

Volunteers in North Central West Virginia help organizations run smoothly. 

For this month's Celebrating Volunteers, WBOY heads to Lewis County, where a former state hospital employee now spends her free time there giving back.

For 28 years, Ruth Macbeth worked at the former state hospital in Weston before working four years at the William R. Sharpe Junior Hospital. 

"It was like a care giver," said Macbeth.  "I helped patients with their bath, helped them with their recreation. Or took them places, took them to town, took them to hearings, took them home."

After Macbeth retired in 1999, Macbeth decided to make her way back to the hospital, this time as a volunteer. 

"It was just an opportunity to be back with the people I had worked with before and with the patients I had worked with," said Macbeth.

Macbeth also served as the president of the hospital auxiliary and has planned several events. 

"We've always had silent auctions," said Macbeth.  "We used to have two a year. Those are big fundraisers for us. And now we have a couple of people that do literacy. they do the blanket buddies. They make the cards and send out to different people."

"Toilet articles for the patients," said Macbeth.  "They know they are allowed all this stuff. And other things they have to get approval from the treatment team."

These days you will find Macbeth serving at the gift shop.

"Wait on customers when they come in," said Macbeth. "Straighten things and put things out. things that are out of date, put back. It gives them some normalcy. They can go out and shop. They know what they're allowed to have and they come in and they're relaxed." 

Macbeth also helped start the birthday bag program for patients.

"We usually put three or four things," said Macbeth. "Usually four things in a bag. And then a card. And then I deliver them around to the units."

Macbeth said bringing a smile to a patient's face is the highlight of her work. 

"It's an awesome feeling," said Macbeth.  "If we can lift their day just a little bit, it makes it good for them. It makes it good for us."

Macbeth encourages everyone in the community to volunteer.

"When you're out doing things for others, it comes back to you 10 folds, and folds, and folds," said Macbeth.  "It's just such a good feeling to know you're doing your part in taking care of people."

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