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Matching Fund Created by Two Former GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary Presidents

September 30, 2021
GBMC has always been fortunate to attract committed and invested people to volunteer throughout the hospital. More than 500 volunteers provide more than 90,000 hours of service each year (pre-pandemic) to make the patient experience more comfortable, friendly and compassionate.

Volunteers have been an integral part of GBMC since its founding, when they invested their time and energy as well as encouraged community philanthropy with door-to-door fundraising, to establish GBMC. A small group of women founded the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary at this time, which has maintained this approach to volunteerism throughout the last 56 years: service and philanthropy.

Today, two former GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary presidents are inspiring other GBMC volunteers to lead GBMC into the next major phase of community healthcare by giving to The Promise Project.

Bill Murray and Rodica Johnson have a lot in common. Both are neighbors of GBMC but became more familiar with the halls of their community hospital when their spouses were treated at GBMC for cancer. Both committed to giving back after their spouses passed and both elevated their commitment to leadership roles. Their individual drive and dedication to GBMC is powerful, but together is a powerhouse.

Due to their consistent contributions to important programs at GBMC, The Promise Project was presented to the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary early. After the group pledged a commitment, Murray and Johnson got together to discuss how to engage volunteers even further.

“I was going to give something anyway,” Murray said, “but I started thinking about how we could encourage volunteers to give back outside of the Auxiliary and we developed the match idea.”

“I was always going to give to The Promise Project as well,” Johnson said, “but when Bill and I came up with the match idea, I thought it would be lovely to see a majority of the volunteers step up and give whatever they feel comfortable giving to this project since it is so important to the hospital, and the hospital is important to the volunteers as well. They have been patients many times.”

Johnson and Murray will match up to $100,000 of gifts made by volunteers. In the first five months of their campaign, 42 volunteers have gotten to a third of the goal. One of those donors was Nancy Klueh.

“It just so happened the challenge came as my husband and I were discussing how much to give,” Klueh said. “We thought it would be a good reflection of the volunteers, who are very generous in my experience.”

To contribute to the match, volunteers can give outright gifts, commit to a pledge that can span up to five years, or consider a planned gift of estate or securities. Whatever the amount and whatever the avenue, each gift supports the future of patient care at GBMC.

In a time when the physical presence of volunteers has been missed due to the global pandemic, Johnson and Murray’s match creates a community around giving for volunteers. While the Auxiliary’s collective giving on behalf of the volunteers has been incredibly impactful over the years to many service areas at GBMC, the autonomy and individual pride in giving to the match highlights just how incredible GBMC volunteers are.

“I recognize they are already gracious with their time,” Klueh said of her fellow GBMC volunteers, “but if they can give, it would serve as a great reminder that volunteers are here to support GBMC, even when we can’t be there in person.”

“This project is important to the long-term viability of GBMC,” Murray said. “There are not a lot of community hospitals left. The best way to see the concept remain in our community is to support it.”

Johnson said, “I know you are familiar with the phrase, ‘give until it hurts.’ Well, I say, give until it feels good.”

To learn more about The Promise Project, read stories from other donors, track fundraising progress and learn how to make your promise, visit The Promise Project website.
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