A St. Jude Children's Research Hospital volunteer since May 2006, Lyndal Grieb has a passion for volunteering, which has prompted him to serve in many organizations over the years. Although Grieb does not interact directly with patients, as a kitchen volunteer preparing snack bags, he directly affects patient nutrition.
“It hasn't been direct like seeing them face-to-face, but it helps because their nutrition is so important when recovering from treatment. These bags provide that nutrition,” Grieb said.
Grieb assembles 100 snack bags in the kitchen. Each bag includes a drink, a piece of fruit, a snack item, and a spoon for patients. Grieb said working in the kitchen brings him great joy.
“It's fun. I interact mostly with the wonderful ladies who take orders to the patients’ rooms all over the hospital. For example, right now they would be getting breakfast ready to deliver to the patients,” Grieb said.
Grieb, a former Memphis Public Library employee, said a friend introduced him to the volunteer opportunities available at St. Jude.
“I could see that she enjoyed it so much, and I wanted to give it a try too,” Grieb said. “I’m just so happy to be a volunteer here. It makes me so happy.”
A seasoned volunteer, Grieb said he had no experience volunteering in a hospital before beginning at St. Jude. He explained the necessity for the extensive volunteer training all new volunteers must complete before beginning in their assigned roles.
“It was so totally new for me. I had never done any kind of volunteering or anything with a hospital, so, I think I was amazed at how extensive the training was that we got,” Greib said. “One good thing about that is that it makes you realize how important it is to be clean and well-groomed. It is a serious responsibility being a volunteer.”
For Grieb, volunteering holds a high priority in his life, and is one which he devotes a considerable amount of time during the week. Greib said he previously volunteered in many different organizations during the week, which affected his ability to schedule doctor visits or to engage in other recreational groups.
After scaling back his volunteer positions to three visits per week, Greib volunteered briefly in other roles at St. Jude before settling in the kitchen. Grieb said there is a great need for volunteers.
“I just love coming here because it gives me that special feeling being a part of St. Jude. Every week out of the year, I'm here,” Grieb said. “One of the joys of retirement is all the free time and not having a job to go to every day. Memphis is so rich with opportunities to volunteer.”