In time of need

Jane Calderone finds happiness volunteering her time to help a

small hospital deal with big ailments.

Lending her care to the patients and staff at the South Coast

Medical Center is the way she has chosen to spend her free time for


the past 10 years, expecting nothing in return other than the

gratitude and appreciation of those she helps.

Throughout the years that Calderone has been volunteering at the

hospital, she has logged in about 4,000 hours of work. She has worked


in just about every department of the hospital, citing her favorite

as the admittance desk.

“It’s where every patient has to go first when they arrive,” said

Calderone, “This way I see everyone and am able to start helping them

with their fears before they ever see a doctor.”

Calderon moved to Southern California from Chicago shortly after

her husband had passed away. Finding herself at an age for

retirement, Calderon found it difficult to “sit around at home out in


the sun reading and being bored.” When she went to South Coast

Medical Center to volunteer they made her feel at home among fellow

staff members and volunteers. “They really make me feel special,”

Calderone commented, “the doctors and nurses are so nice to work

with, and I love helping people. It’s more rewarding than any other

way I could think to spend my time.”

Currently, Calderone is volunteering at both the admittance desk

and the surgery liaison center, where she acts as a source of aid


between the doctor, patient and the patient’s family during surgery.

She is also involved in all the fund-raisers held by the hospital.

“We all seem to work together to raise money for the hospital.

Everybody is so dedicated and loves what they do.”

South Coast Medical Center is small compared to a high-frequency

facility like Mission Hospital. However, its size and personal

atmosphere has benefits that Calderone favors.

“The hospital is small enough to have enough volunteers and staff

for every patient to get plenty of attention,” she said. “Every

patient has someone available to keep them company, or write a letter

for them, or read them a book. I can really tell that they appreciate


For her service, Calderone has received several awards including

two gold and two silver pins, which are presented in a ceremony by

the president of the hospital.

“Every time I see that I have really helped someone, or any time a

person simply says thank you, that is the highlight of my day and I

feel rewarded.”

* HEATHER STRUCK is an intern for the Coastline Pilot. She write

features and gathers news information.