Gloucester native looks forward to growing enrollment in volunteer program.
Gloucester, Va.– Riverside Walter Reed Hospital recently named Cindy Jenkins the Volunteer Coordinator, responsible for leading the recruitment, placement and retention of volunteers at the community hospital. Jenkins, a Gloucester native, also serves as the hospital’s Gift Shop Coordinator.
Prior to joining Riverside in 2018, Jenkins spent 24 years at Walmart, most recently as a Store Manager. She started with Riverside in a part-time position working as a protection officer before assuming her current role as Volunteer Coordinator.
Jenkins and her family have strong ties to the local area and to Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. Jenkins’ mother started working for the hospital after the family moved to the area in 1979, and Jenkins herself would graduate from Gloucester High School in 1990. Jenkins’ father worked at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.
She has fond memories of visiting her mom at work and seeing firsthand the sense of camaraderie and respect shared among the staff.
“I remember coming to Walter Reed as a kid and purchasing things in the gift shop,” said Jenkins. “I met so many people, and the great thing is that many Riverside team members remember me coming to see mom.”
Jenkins is also inspired by her mom’s legacy.
“The trail that she blazed here is definitely an honor,” Jenkins said. “At the same time, I am going to make sure that I walk the walk.”
In her new role, Jenkins said she is excited about the community’s response to the $55 million renovation and expansion of the hospital and looks forward to growing enrollment in the volunteer program.
“I was very impressed with the volunteer program at Walter Reed,” said Jenkins, noting that some volunteers have served for more than 40 years. “Their dedication is amazing, and I need to make sure that I communicate with them and keep them in the loop, especially with the expansion.”
Jenkins said that one particular area of need for volunteers is the gift shop, which is being relocated and expanded as part of the hospital renovations. Proceeds from the Riverside Walter Reed Hospital gift shop – The Daffodil – sales benefit the Riverside Foundation, directly supporting services and programs to enhance the care experience and fulfill unmet patient needs.
“It is such an incredible program, and in the front of the main lobby it will have more visibility,” Jenkins said of the gift shop.
Volunteers can serve in a variety of other roles at Walter Reed, helping out with patient care, for example, taking patients from the main lobby to the lab or for imaging. “We’re really looking to increase the diversity of the program with age, gender, race and experiences,” Jenkins said. “We would love to see younger volunteers get involved.”
Volunteers are treated to various incentives for their service, including up to $7 for lunch at the hospital cafeteria.
But according to Jenkins, “the best benefit is meeting new people and inspiring and helping others.”
Jenkins said that she is very excited about the future of the volunteer program and is very happy about her new position.
“It’s been a joy working here and being in this role,” said Jenkins. “I kind of have to pinch myself.”
Riverside Walter Reed Hospital is accepting applications for new volunteers. Applicants can indicate their preference for a variety of positions with or without patient contact, including the gift shop, surgical wait desk, shuttle driver, and other positions focused on patient comfort or communications. Hours are flexible.
To complete a volunteer application online, visit riversideonline.com/rwrhvolunteer. For more information on Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, visit riversideonline.com/rwrh.
Published: June 18, 2019