Barry, Susan and Ginny Moore
Volunteering is a family affair for Susan and Barry Moore of Chatham. Susan has devoted more than 40 years of volunteer service to Overlook, while Barry has volunteered for the past 15. Now their six-year-old rescue dog, Ginny, is also bringing smiles to patients and visitors.
“Volunteering has always been part of my life,” says Susan. “While growing up in Illinois, my mom volunteered at our local hospital. When I was old enough, I became a candy striper.”
When Susan and Barry moved to Chatham in 1970, Susan joined her local Overlook Twig (a branch of the Overlook Auxiliary, which provides volunteer and fund-raising efforts to support Overlook Medical Center) while helping to raise their two children.
Susan volunteered as a messenger (a duty she still performs every Wednesday) and also served as treasurer of the Auxiliary-run coffee shop, her Twig, and the Auxiliary’s membership committee. When the Auxiliary began hosting its bi-annual Kitchen Tour fund-raiser, she took on the role of co-chair.
“I love working at the hospital,” Susan remarks. “I help discharge patients, transport specimen samples to the lab, move equipment and get supplies for the nurses on the floors. I’ve met so many wonderful people over the past 40 years.”
When Barry retired from a career on Wall Street 15 years ago, Susan suggested that he volunteer at Overlook as well – but on a separate day.
“I needed to get him out of the house at least one day a week,” jokes Susan. “What better way to do that than as a volunteer?”
Barry admits that it was a great idea. He enjoys working with his co-volunteers while performing messenger duties – similar to Susan’s – at Overlook each Friday.
When the Moores adopted Ginny, a Sharpei-Beagle mix, from St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center two years ago, they thought she would be a good candidate for pet therapy training because of her gentle demeanor. After completing the four-week course, Ginny began her job as a volunteer, visiting inpatients at Overlook.
“Ginny’s very social,” remarks Susan, “and she has a face that just makes people smile.”
“I was brought up to give back in whatever way I can,” reflects Susan, who is also involved with her church and serves as director of the Red Brick Schoolhouse, operated by the Chatham Historical Society. “There is a fellowship among people who work together for a greater purpose.”
“I’ve probably discharged hundreds of patients at Overlook, and the overwhelming majority reported that they had a positive experience. If I can contribute to their upbeat attitude by being the last friendly face they see, that makes me feel good too.”
To discuss which volunteer opportunities match your interests, contact Sue Thomas, manager of the patient experience and volunteer services, at 908-522-2841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.