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GMH Volunteers Association: a lineage of caring

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If you've ever been to the Guam Memorial Hospital, chances are you've probably been greeted by one of the Pink Ladies. The GMH Volunteers Association is celebrating 50 years of giving, and who would of thought it all started with just a small group of friends?

Margaret Jones explained the group's history, saying, "Chilang Bamba asked some of us to get together. So she just called her friends those who were closest to her in her office and it all began it was really her vision because honestly I had never given thought for the Guam Memorial Hospital volunteers - it was her vision and it has been wonderful."

From April 1965 to today, the organization has grown from just a small group of friends to over 160 members strong. Jones is one of the founding members and in the beginning stages of the organization she walked the wards and provided help wherever needed, saying, "I worked in the admitting office most of the time. I was the second president, so basically that first year was just spent going from one ward to another and over to the pediatrics to see what can be done in how we could do it."

One of the first GMHVA projects was to install seating in various parts of the old Guam Memorial Hospital, including the entrance. "We basically put bench type chairs like you see at an airport or doctors office around the perimeter of that entrance room foray so that was our first project and along with that came the same time of seating outside the operating room," Jones said.

Over the years, the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association however has grown from donating chairs to providing multimillion dollar medical equipment. They're all donations that would not have been possible without the community's support and hard working efforts of their membership. Jones said, "I don't think any of us had any thoughts that what we were doing would be stand the test of time and it's all because of the people of Guam that have a giving hearts and such a volunteering attitude."

Make sure to join us all this week because in the days ahead we're going to give you a closer look at some of the work the volunteers do at the hospital. We'll also hear from physicians and nurses on how they've benefitted from some of the donations and we'll tell you how you can become involved in the GMHVA as well as the future plans of the organization.

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