Volunteer Spotlight: Pat Provot

April was National Volunteer Month! North Shore Healthcare is thankful for the volunteers who make such an impact on our residents and staff. North Shore could not provide the best care possible without their help. Pat Provot is an example of how volunteers are instrumental in our centers’ success.

For the past two-and-a-half years, 70-year-old volunteer Pat Provot has been a constant presence at Hamilton Health Services. But soon, she will be “retiring” from her volunteer duties.

Volunteer Pat

The Manitowoc resident brings premade craft kits to the residents, usually a group of about 10-12 people, every week. You never know what you will find in the kits. Residents have used popsicle sticks, paper, toilet paper tubes, Q-tips, pipe cleaners, beads, and paint to create art that can be placed in their rooms, around the building, or shared with others.

“A lot of the residents like it when we make cards,” Pat said. “They always want to make cards for [CNA] Susan [Hawke]. She always has a smile on her face and the residents really love her. They want to give her cards to thank her for being so nice.”

Pat was introduced to Hamilton Health Services when her mother was a resident at the center. One day, Pat saw Life Enrichment Coordinator Elaina Ramsey using construction paper to make decorations for the doors. Knowing Elaina needed something sturdier, Pat cut the shapes Elaina needed on card stock at her home and brought them to the center. Before she knew it, Pat was a regular volunteer, leading activities in “Crafty Corner” or baking delicious goodies with the residents.

Pat with resident Nancy

“Pat always comes in and is willing to create, teach, chat, and laugh,” Elaina said. “She has brought every single one of those things with her every single time.”

The crafts often focus on sensory stimulation, the process of using different activities to engage in the senses. Activities which engage the senses are becoming more common in care environments with results showing improvements in mood, relaxation, social skills, and the ability to make connections. Pat has seen the impact these activities have on the residents.

“When I visit, some of the residents will start crying because they know I am bringing something,” Pat said. “They all want to do [the activity]. They all try. If something is hard, I help them.”

Pat’s last day volunteering at Hamilton will be May 10. The center hosted a special party with music, food, and of course, arts and crafts for her on April 26.  Residents and staff presented Pat with gifts and shared their appreciation for her dedication to Hamilton Health Services.

Elaina Ramsey with Pat

“The residents make my day,” Pat said. “If you walk in there, and whatever mood you’re in and you don’t walk out feeling better, you are not in the right place.”

Elaina values not only what she has learned from Pat, but their friendship too.

“We will miss having her around – not just for her creativeness, but for her presence in our building,” she said. “We will miss everything about her, dearly.”

North Shore centers are always in need of volunteers, even if for only one hour a week. Activities can include playing games with residents, leading an exercise class, bringing a pet to visit, providing musical entertainment, or gardening. Those unable to volunteer their time can still make a difference by donating prizes or becoming a pen pal to a resident.

“You need to get out into your community, and you need to help,” Pat said. “When the residents tell me they are going to miss me, I say thank you for saying that because it makes me know I did something right. It’s all the appreciation I need honestly.”

If you would like to volunteer at a North Shore center, please contact the center directly or email info@nshorehc.com.