Nurse Returns to Hospital as a Volunteer
Posted on Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Lady in Pink: Retired registered nurse Paulette Manning shows scarves from the Hospital Auxiliary gift store in the Mercy Health/Love County lobby.
The Hospital Auxiliary’s newest volunteer is no stranger to the institution. Paulette Manning retired as a registered nurse 12 years ago.
But she felt pulled back out of gratitude for care rendered to her late husband, Ronald Manning. He passed away last December.
“He was in and out of the hospital every two or three months the last two years. It didn’t bother me to go home because I knew Ronald would be taken care of. There are not a lot of places you feel you can leave your family member and have that assurance,” Manning said.
Now, whether taking ice or reading material to patients or working in the gift shop, Manning lets her volunteerism express love for her family and the staff of Mercy Health/Love County.
The couple was married 40 years and raised two sons, David and Michael. David and his wife Kerry have two children, Alex, 13, and Sarah, 11.
Ronald Manning spent his career with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, retiring in 2003 as the trainmaster in Gainesville.
When not at the hospital, Manning can be found at Marietta Elementary School. For the past five years, she has volunteered several afternoons a week in the second grade classrooms of Lawanna Reed and Wilma Willis.
“I listen to kids read. It’s amazing what children can do when they have someone to listen to them. They practice and make progress over the year. And it’s neat when the kids see you out in the community. They always have a story to tell about what’s going on in their lives,” Manning said.
Whether at the hospital or school, it’s the personal involvement that Manning finds compelling. “I can’t do a lot, but I like being in a position to give back what God has given me. I was blessed to begin with,” she said.
Her family boasts three generations of nurses, including her mother, Grace Sanders, of Texarkana, and her older son, David, who will graduate in May, as did his mother, from the Murray State College R.N. program.
David has been a paramedic with Mercy Health/Love County EMS for 20 years.
Michael is a child protective services social worker in Denton. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and is working on a master’s degree. He spent four years in the Army, including one year in Korea.
The Hospital Auxiliary owns the hospital gift shop and vending machines. Using sales proceeds from these two endeavors, the group purchases hospital and ambulance furnishings and equipment.
The gift shop is well-worth browsing. There are small toys and games, decorative items for the home, and accessories for men and women.
Males or females age 18 or older may volunteer in the auxiliary.
Often referred to as “Pink Ladies” in tribute to the pink-colored tunics volunteers wore in the early days of the organization, their accumulated hours each year rank them as the most giving organization in Love County.
The Pink Ladies are affiliated with Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Big 5 Community Services, Inc. in Marietta.
The group’s president is Kay Brintle of Leon.