SRMC volunteer Sitzler finds her work 'rewarding'

May 25, 2018

More active than her peers, 90 year-old Alma "Faye" Sitzler is making a difference by volunteering weekly.

Sitzler, born on May 8, 1928, has been volunteering at Starr Regional Health & Rehabilitation Center in Etowah since March of 1990.

According to Sitzler, after her husband passed away, her daughter suggested the idea.

"I came up and checked it out, and I've been a pink lady ever since," said Sitzler.

She volunteers at Starr on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Primarily, she works at the Kozy Korner Gift Shop, directs people who need help navigating the campus, and fixes waters for the nursing home residents.

Sitzler explained what she likes about volunteering for the medical center.

"I just love being around the people. If they've lost their sock or shoe, I can put that on. I'm kind of a patter and a hugger. I don't hug the men, but I pat them on the shoulder," said Sitzler. "It's been rewarding to me. I like to be busy. I hadn't lost that yet."

When asked how long she will volunteer, she said she feels blessed to be able to help out, and will continue to do so as long as possible.

"As long as I stay able. I've got a bicycle in my living room, and I ride it while I watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy ... I usually do three or four miles a night. I've been blessed. As far as I know, I've still got everything I was born with - even my tonsils," said Sitzler.

Sitzler was born in Monroe County, but after her husband got a job with Etowah utilities, they moved to Etowah. She has been a member at Brookhill Baptist Church Etowah for more than 50 years. Previously, she volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

Sitzler has two children, Joanna England and Randy Sitzler; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Volunteer Coordinator and Executive Assistant for Starr Medical Center Retta Davis discussed the need for more volunteers.

"They man the outpatient registration area, they do the water and ice, newspapers, man the phones ... just depends on what wing they're in in. There's usually someone on each wing every day of the week," said Davis. " There are other things we'd like for them to do, but we just don't have enough volunteers to enhance the patient experience. We've got a really great group of fine ladies, but we need extra help. We just ask for four hours a week - that's the minimum requirement to be a volunteer."

According to Davis, the love the volunteers put in is reciprocal.

"Their oldest mission is the nursing home. There's a lot of love that goes on in the volunteering. Like I said, they're a fine group of volunteers, and I'm so proud to be associated with them. Some of them work two or three days a week, like Faye, she comes in on Saturdays, because there's no one to volunteer. They're that friendly face that smiles and comforts people when they have to take a test or go through something hard or painful. A smile does a lot," said Davis.

There are currently 26 "pink lady" volunteers. Volunteers for Starr Regional Medical Center in Athens or Etowah must be 21 or above, and be able to volunteer a minimum of four hours per week. Despite their nickname, male and females are encouraged to volunteer.

For more information on how to volunteer for Starr Regional Medical Center, please call (423) 263-3614

Courtesy Ashley Copeland, Daily Post Athenain