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Why Two Auxiliary Members Find Enjoyment in Volunteering at Phelps Health

Phelps Health volunteers Ronnie Mills and Jim Earl
Ronnie Mills, left, and Jim Earl are volunteers with the Phelps Health Auxiliary and Volunteer Services, who help patients.

Published on April 11, 2022

Read Time: Two Minutes

If you have ever walked into Phelps Health Hospital and needed help finding your way, you may have met Ronnie Mills or Jim Earl, volunteers with the Phelps Health Auxiliary and Volunteer Services.

Both men help patients arrive at the right destinations for their tests or procedures at the hospital.

From helping expectant mothers get to the labor and delivery unit to accompanying patients to the infusion rooms, Earl and Mills find volunteering to be a rewarding experience.

Mills, who is 75, is beginning his 13th year volunteering at Phelps Health, while Earl, who is 78, has been a volunteer for nine years.

“I really enjoy volunteering,” Mills said. “I look forward to it.”

Earl agreed, noting that volunteering brings him feelings of satisfaction.

As a volunteer, “you see a lot of different people, and they often come to the hospital worried or concerned,” Earl said. “We try to give them comfort and lighten their load, if we can.”

Both men were drawn to volunteer at Phelps Health for different reasons.

Mills was injured in a truck accident, and after recovering from the crash and other health concerns, he decided that he wanted to give back.

“I have a motto, and that’s ‘you give a thousand times back more than what you take,’” Mills said, adding that volunteering has changed his perspective on life.

Earl was taught that helping your neighbors is important, and “it’s what the Lord wants me to do,” he said. Volunteering allows Earl a way to show his compassion for others.

As volunteers, Earl and Mills have become close to several patients that they have helped over the years.

Mills recalled one time, he delivered flowers to a mute patient and used pen and paper to communicate with her. He also has bought stuffed animals for a young patient a few times.

“You hope you make a difference in everyone’s lives,” Earl said, adding that he has become good friends with many of the patients he assists.

The Phelps Health Auxiliary offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Some volunteers work in the gift shop and resale shop, while others work in the sewing room, knitting baby caps. Volunteers also serve at information desks around the hospital campus.

“Everyone has time, and how we use that time determines the type of person you can be,” Earl said. “If you’re concerned about others, volunteering here is a good place to start.”

Each year, Phelps Health volunteers contribute more than 15,000 hours of service and work in dozens of areas around Phelps Health, making a difference each day.

Additionally, the Auxiliary raises money through the gift shop, resale boutique and other activities to purchase transportation vans and medical equipment as well as provide scholarships to nursing and allied health students.

Looking for a Volunteer Opportunity?

If you want to make a difference, consider a volunteering opportunity at Phelps Health. Learn more about the Phelps Health Auxiliary and Volunteer Services by emailing Crystal Lorah at or calling (573) 458-7947.

Found in: Auxiliary Auxiliary and Volunteer Services Community Volunteering