You cannot go to Union Hospital’s gift shop or any auxiliary event without running into Ruth Jeffries—better known as “Tut.” That’s because she is always working and selflessly giving her time to our hospital. Which is why we thought it was high time for us to celebrate her and tell her just how much we appreciate and value what she does for us, our patients, and our visitors.
Tut grew up in a small suburb of Reading, Pennsylvania, called Gretna Lawn. She had a younger sister and an older brother, both of whom are now deceased. “I think it was great growing up in a small town where everyone knew each other.” In Tut’s senior year of high school, she went to classes until noon, and then went to her job at People’s Trust, which became her full-time job after graduation.
Tut has become a fixture around the hospital, so we wondered how she first became involved with our volunteer program. “The Rising Sun Auxiliary was looking for volunteers and I was retired, so I joined. After a year, I became vice president, then president twice, and got involved with looking for fundraisers for our group. At a fundraiser I found out there was a need for volunteers, so I did it!”
As for why she decided to choose Union as the recipient of her time, she said, “I have been a patient at Union Hospital too many times to mention. I always received great care, so I am now giving back (is my feeling) as best I can.” What Tut enjoys most about volunteering here are the people, “In the few years I have volunteered, I have gotten to know quite a few employees, and everyone is so friendly.”
Tut says that she would tell anyone who is considering becoming a volunteer that the work can sometimes be hard, but the feeling of satisfaction far outweighs any thoughts of stopping, “We work hard on our fundraisers, but we all work together and help each other. We have fun and we are working for a good cause. When we donate the funds we earn, we get lots of satisfaction for our work. We have all worked together as a team!”
Of course, she wants to continue helping as much as she can for as long as she can, “I hope I can continue to volunteer for many more years, as it helps keep me moving, and not sitting around at home. I know I won’t give up until I feel I’m not being useful anymore!”
And being the humble lady, she is, she was so very grateful for this recognition. “Thank you all for this award. I am rewarded each and every day that I volunteer.”
Tut, the pleasure is truly all ours.