Grace Pursley was completely shocked when she found out she had been selected as a Volunteer Spotlight Award winner. We are not sure why, because if anyone deserves special honor and gratitude, it’s Grace.
Grace was born and raised in Cecil County, “I never got far away! I’ve been here all my life. I was here when the hospital was still just a little, old wooden building.” She is a widow and has three children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren with whom she truly loves to spend time. As a matter of fact, while she was being interviewed, she stopped to gush about how proud she was of her youngest granddaughter, who was about to graduate from Salisbury University.
For 20 years, Grace worked at the Cecil County Health Department, “After I retired from the health department, I initially took a job in the hospital as a sitter and did that for a while. That was very interesting.”
Grace has volunteered for Union for an amazing 30 years! When asked what drew her to volunteering specifically at the hospital, she says, “When I was young, doctors and nurses always fascinated me, and I always wanted to go to nursing school, but my parents couldn’t afford to send me. But I was always sort of interested in medical things, so I guess that’s why I decided to volunteer here.”
One of her first volunteer jobs was installing life lines in the hospital, which she did for many years. “Back when the hospital had a little tiny gift shop, I would also make flower arrangements for them to sell. I’m a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.” Sorry Grace, but we beg to differ. As a matter of fact, during our interview, she paused to show us an amazing, custom quilt she had made for her granddaughter. “Let me show you what I made for my granddaughter’s graduation present. These are all of her old SU t-shirts!”
We asked Grace what she enjoyed most about spending her free time at Union, “What I enjoy most about volunteering are the people—the patients, visitors, and my colleagues. You make all these wonderful relationships with people. If I don’t see them, I wonder where they are, and they wonder where I am if they don’t see me, so it’s nice.”
Grace encourages others to consider volunteering for Union Hospital, “Everyone is very nice, and you can pretty much make your own hours. It’s a very rewarding experience. Right now, I am just so overwhelmed that I have been selected as a Volunteer Spotlight Award winner. I can’t believe this. I truly appreciate it.”
Of course, we’d expect nothing less than for her to accept this award with such humility and grace. Obviously, her name is quite befitting.