D.C. General Hospital honored its many in-house and community organiztion volunteers in a Volunteer Appreciation Day program last week.
The program, organized by the advisory board to Patient and Hospital Support Services, included a luncheon and a children's fashion show.
There is just something that grows as you get into it," said Etta Arnold of the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers' involvement with the hospital.
Arnold said the group of professional dreeemakers has been providing clothing for children - infancy to 12 years - for the hospital for the past four years. Outfits range from layettes to coats.
In a fashion show modeled by 18 children of the volunteers, the group presented more than 100 articles of clothing to the hospital. The children twirled and bowed to the piano accompaniment of "volunteer Troy Barlett. Another volunteer, Louis Baker, sang You'll Never Walk Alone."
Without the help of the volunteers, the hospital would be unable to provide such services as an adult roving library, hospital decorations, newborn infant photos, barber and grooming services and an adult hot lunch program.
Spencer said a general store - stocked by the volunteers - provides free clothing and an assortment of personal care items for needy patients. Over 10 per cent of the patients in the 700-bed hospital are indigent, she said.
For the first time in the hospital's history, patients will now have recreational day rooms, Spencer said.
"The hospital has never been fortunate enough in having budget money for these things," she said. Our board made this a major project for this year."
The rooms, which will provide lounge funiture, a color TV, and reading material, will be furnished by various community organizations. The first room, donated by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington is expected to open shortly.
According to Spencer, D.C. General has 176 inhouse and 200 community organization volunteers. Every volunteer will receive a service award certificate. A special certificate was presented to the hospital's executive director, Robert Johnson.
Volunteer Appreciation Day has been an annual event since the early 1940s.