Column: Former Carmel librarian still gives her time



I thought this week we might play a little game of “Where is she now?”

To get the game started, here is our first question: Who served as librarian at Caramel Junior High School and then at Clay Junior High School from 1964 to 1990?

Give up?

If you know your history and checked out a book during those years, you should have answered Ms. Pat Helm. She is still a resident of Carmel, and I caught up with her while she fulfilled her Thursday morning ritual.

Since 1991, Helm has been a volunteer at St.Vincent Carmel Hospital. She is assigned to the surgery waiting room, attending to anxious family members waiting for their loved one’s surgery to finish successfully.

She said, “I enjoy volunteering at the hospital. I like the people I meet and I especially like helping the families where I can. The doctors, nurses and other volunteers are wonderful.”

Her kindness shows in all that she does. As I walked up to her desk, I was greeted warmly, and she wanted to know how she could help me.

“That is how she treats everyone,” said Melinda Wirstiuk, St.Vincent Carmel Hospital’s volunteer supervisor. “Pat is a longtime volunteer and is very committed to providing the highest level of service for the hospital’s guests.”

The volunteer program at St.Vincent Carmel Hospital has over 290 regularly scheduled volunteers carrying out various tasks around campus.

Wirstiuk said, “We could not provide the level of service we do without our talented volunteers. They give us the most precious thing they have: their time. We are grateful.”

When you see someone wearing a pink jacket or red shirt, you know he or she is a member of the Volunteer Corps.

“Our volunteers treat this just like a job. If they are sick or can’t make their scheduled time to volunteer, they are always concerned about how the patients or families will be affected,” Wirstiuk said. “I am always amazed by their dedication.”

As a librarian, Pat provided information and showed people where to find it. She is still practicing that same skill some 23 years after retiring as a St.Vincent volunteer.


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