Friends Who Volunteer Together, Stay Together
Is there any greater gift than friendship? How about volunteering your time to serve others? Both are precious, but friendship and service to others is a life-changing combination that longtime friends Anita Spearman and Pat Kasner share.
The two friends met 17 years ago when Anita volunteered at the Flint Street Fellowship Food Pantry, which Pat was the director of at the time. Later, Anita began attending the same church as Pat and they formed a strong bond. Through many challenges, such as both of their husbands passing away, their friendship and faith in God remained a source of strength. "I truly believe the Lord put us together as friends for a reason. He knew we would both need someone to lean on after the loss of our husbands," said Anita.
After Pat retired from her position as director of the food pantry, she had a lot of time on her hands. Anita, a volunteer with the Mercy Auxiliary in Berryville since 2007, encouraged her to join as a volunteer for the hospital. That was 4 years ago and today, Pat serves weekly in the hospital surgery waiting area and is on the auxiliary board as the membership chair and the board secretary. "I always leave the hospital feeling great about a day of helping others. Sometimes folks just need a little encouragement during a difficult moment, but often they are simply grateful for our help to pass the time while they wait for loved ones having procedures," said Pat. We also have the extreme gratification of knowing that we are saving the hard-working nurses from certain smaller duties that we can do instead.
Both ladies are passionate about serving as volunteers and made the decision to include Mercy Hospital in their estate planning. Both have allocated gifts to Mercy that will be used in the areas of greatest need when the time comes. Both Anita and Pat know how much of an impact their gift can make in a small community like Berryville.
The gift of friendship is precious, and as volunteers, Anita and Pat shine brightly as they interact with Mercy patients and visitors. They are also a tremendous gift to Mercy Hospital Berryville, and a true blessing to every life they touch.