By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center honors 117 teen volunteers
Volunteer and high school junior Caitlin Gooch, left, receives her award from Meg Nivens, right, Monday night at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s 2013 Teen Volunteer Appreciation and Awards ceremony. Gooch, along with many other volunteers, were recognized for their hours of service at the hospital this summer. - photo by CHARLES PHELPS

Sometimes, a person’s hard work and time go unrecognized by many.

On Monday night, a group of volunteers’ time, talent and hard work was recognized by those who saw it firsthand.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center and the Medical Center Auxiliary recognized the 2013 teen volunteers as part of the NGMC Teen Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.

The teens served in 48 areas throughout the NGMC health system, and 117 teens participated from seven different counties and 21 schools, including Hall County schools, and logged more than 4,900 hours of volunteer service throughout the summer.

“This summer, the teens have been a great group,” said Lynne Allen, director of volunteer service for The Medical Center Auxiliary. “I can tell you, I’ve never worked with a group that has had a more positive spirit; very eager to help.

“Whether they (the teen volunteers) choose to go into the medical field or not, it really looks good on a college application. It is important to volunteer. Colleges look closely at that, the activities (the teens) have been involved with aside from their academics.”

The tasks assigned to the teens were non-medical-related tasks, Allen said. Some of the tasks included taking books and magazines to patients and visitors, helping with children and staff in the child care center and taking a lemonade and cookie cart into waiting areas to serve family members of someone who’s in the hospital.

“The volunteer program is very important to the medical center,” she explained. “The volunteers add a brightness that can’t be measured.

“When patients and family members see volunteers (at the hospital), they know (the volunteers) are there out of the goodness of their heart. ... It really speaks. (The volunteers) no doubt come to serve with such a willing attitude, it makes a difference. It really brightens the lives of others.”

Hanh Nguyen, a graduate of West Hall High School, said volunteering at NGMC gave her a “good, solid basis and foundation” while she was in high school, and now she can use the experience for the future.

She also said she got into the program because she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.

“This was a fantastic program,” Nguyen said. “Overall, the experience has been amazing because the (hospital) staff has been amazing. ... Also, the patients. Personally, I’m a little skeptic(al) about a lot of things, but I saw that everyone was so happy by you just going into their room and asking them how their day (was), and just giving them ice and water. ... It just makes you feel good.”

White County High School graduate Kanan Patel said she volunteered for the past three summers, and by volunteering, she was able to pick her major for college.

“From my experiences, I’ve learned so much,” she said. “(Volunteering) is a good thing because it helps with grades and everyone’s perspective on life. It’s a good interactive and communication-building skill as well.”

High school junior Caitlin Gooch said it was her grandfather who inspired her to volunteer, and because he can’t volunteer now, she said she wanted to continue the “tradition” of volunteering.

“It has been amazing. I’ve learned so much about myself and the medical community,” she explained. “I’ve learned confidence. Lots of confidence in myself.”

Gooch also said her faith in God played a key role in her volunteer service.

“I have a big faith in God,” she said. “I want to serve him well by serving the community.”

She also said she would tell someone who has never volunteered to get out and volunteer.

“Definitely do it. You’ll learn so much,” she said. “It is rewarding.”

For more information on the teen volunteer program, visit:

Regional events