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Volunteering at WakeMed

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Raleigh Campus Volunteer Profiles

Following find profiles of a few spectacular individuals who volunteer on WakeMed Raleigh Campus. Learn more about volunteering on Raleigh Campus.

Mickey Gault Volunteer Mickey Gault

I was raised in Colorado but moved to Raleigh in 1969 when my husband Jock took a professorship at NCSU.  Our two daughters are still here in North Carolina, and I am lucky to have four amazing granddaughters.

I studied English in college but always loved art.  I became enamored with the pottery tradition here in NC and ran my own pottery studio for ten years.  Sculpting and painting are also my passions.  I spent 12 wonderful years at Artspace, working among other talented artists before returning to the quiet of my home studio.  I love to read, am active in Tao Tai Chi practice and continue to walk on a daily basis, thanks to our dog Phoebe.

I served on the Volunteer Board of Directors at the Raleigh Campus for four years and have been a volunteer for 12 years.  I work on 5A, a medical floor, visiting patients, running errands and assisting the medical secretaries.  I have gained great appreciation for the hardworking staff at WakeMed.  They are cheerful, dedicated and all round good people.  It is my pleasure to serve as a lap parent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  This means I rock babies and assist nurses when they need another pair of hands.  Studies have shown that holding these small babies greatly aids their growth and well-being.  I also purchase baby clothes and diapers for the social workers to give to moms and babies who have limited resources when they leave the hospital.

I began volunteering when my ailing mother was in her 90's.  She lived in California and I visited whenever I could.  She had been a hospital volunteer, and I thought this was a way I could "pay forward" the great care she was receiving.  I encourage anyone who has time on their hands to find a way to volunteer.  It broadens one's perspective on life, helping you realize the preciousness of each human being.


John Agurs Volunteer John Agurs

Sometimes difficult challenges in life lead you to the most wonderful experiences.  That's how my WakeMed volunteer story began.

I was 63 years old when I had a mild stroke.  During my recovery, I went through rehabilitation at WakeMed Rehab and received excellent care.  One day I noticed a gentleman in Healthworks (WakeMed's fitness center) wearing a red vest and a badge.  I asked my physical therapist, "What's his job?"  She told me he was a WakeMed volunteer, and then she asked me, "When are you going to sign up?"  I'd never thought about volunteering at a hospital, but she encouraged me to try it.  I'm so glad I did.

For the past five years, I've volunteered to push the "Friendly Face Cart" around to patients, passing out magazines, books and candy.  I also work on the 5C Observation Unit, delivering ice and water, putting gloves out for nurses, passing out crossword puzzles and sodas.  I talk with patients and families to see if there is anything they need, and I help the nurses in any way I can.  I really enjoy what I do. 

Before I retired, I was a retail sales manager with Kraft Foods, so I was used to interacting with people, and I still get to do that through my volunteering.  Sometimes patients don't have family members nearby and they don't have visitors, so it makes me feel good to be the friendly face with a kind word for them.  We talk about our hobbies - mine is photography - and I try to make them feel as comfortable as possible.  They always thank me for my service.

I chose to volunteer at WakeMed because I was inspired by the care I received when I was ill.  Now it's my turn to return the favor.


Sharon LaRusch Volunteer Sharon LaRusch

My connection to WakeMed goes back many years.  I worked for the hospital while I attended college at North Carolina State University.  After graduating, I worked in the corporate arena before starting my own business over nine years ago.  As a jeweler, I enjoy custom design work, repairs and helping my customers find something special.  My husband Norm and I enjoy gardening, golf, travel and volunteering.  

I originally got my dog KiKi to be my running partner, but after learning about the therapy dog program at WakeMed, I knew KiKi's good nature would make her the perfect hospital pet volunteer. The rest was history!  KiKi and I work at the WakeMed Raleigh Campus, visiting several areas including Occupational Health, Pathology, the Children's Emergency Department, Pediatrics and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 

It's so rewarding to walk down the halls with KiKi and to see the smiles spread across people's faces when they see her.  She brings so much joy to everyone - especially children - and I'm just glad we have the opportunity to be a small part of WakeMed's mission of bringing caring and healing to our community. 

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer at WakeMed, understand that you don't need to have it all figured out before you come in to volunteer.  If your heart is leading you here, just listen to it and take action!  There is an incredible Volunteer Services team that will help you find your niche and provide you with the training you need to be a great volunteer.  In the end, I promise you will get far more than you give.


Supriya Sivadanam Volunteer Supriya Sivadanam

My parents came to the US from India many years ago, and my 11-year-old brother and I were born here. I'm a 17 year old junior at Enloe High School, where I enjoy my science, math and biology classes, as well as playing the flute in my school band.  I work hard to maintain a high grade point average, as my dream is to become a pediatrician.  My parents are very supportive of my life's goal.  They tell me that experience is the best teacher, and for me, that's certainly true.  By volunteering at WakeMed, I've gotten a taste of what it's like to work in a health care environment and to help people, and I love it.
I serve as a guest ambassador at WakeMed's Raleigh Campus in the main lobby of the E Tower on Friday afternoons.  During my three-hour shift, I help the receptionists by running errands, giving directions, and doing anything I can to assist.  I began volunteering a little over two years ago, and my time here has reinforced my desire to be a doctor.  WakeMed has a wonderful energy, and the people I work with are so encouraging.  I'm a bit shy, so I've really had to step out of my comfort zone and adapt to circumstances of meeting new people and interacting with others.  It's been great fun, as well as a transformational experience for me.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  Everyone is so busy all the time, and people seem to be very wrapped up in their own lives.  I think we need to step outside ourselves and do what we can for others.  I believe that's how we make a good life, and that's why I volunteer.



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