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MRC News

Published on February 7, 2002
Jim Albritton
Health and Research News Service

WASHINGTON, DC—The dedication and compassion of volunteers at Methodist Rehabilitation Center will be recognized by the Points of Light Foundation on Feb. 14.

The national organization, founded in 1990 to promote volunteerism, has chosen the volunteers to receive its Daily Points of Light Award on Valentine’s Day.

“I can’t think of a better day for our volunteers to receive such an honor,” said volunteer director Sandra Walker. “Every day of the year they love and care for our patients. On Valentine’s Day the rest of the nation will know how truly fortunate we are.”

More than 100 people volunteer at Methodist Rehab, a 124-bed hospital which provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation programs for people with spinal cord and brain injuries, stroke and other neurological and orthopedic diseases and disorders.

“The Points of Light Award means so much to all of us,” said Mark Adams, president and CEO of Methodist Rehab. “It recognizes the hard work and strong commitment volunteers have made to our patients and to the hospital. This recognition is well deserved and serves as an inspiration to us all.”

“Our volunteers range from former patients to homemakers who balance volunteering with careers to former CEOs,” said Walker. “We have a lot of good people who care deeply for our patients and are always available to help out whenever or wherever they’re needed. They visit patients in their rooms, work closely with staff and even raise money to fund neuroscience research. They are essential part of our team.”

The volunteers read and write letters for patients, escort them to therapy and help them with their meals. They also deliver the surgery schedule, assist the chaplain, staff the admissions desk, help in pharmacy, conduct tours, deliver mail and work closely with the hospital’s Boy Scout Troop.

Each year the profits from the Methodist Rehab’s volunteer-run gift shop are donated to the Wilson Research Foundation which funds research at the hospital’s Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery. A team of physician-scientists at the CNNR translate basic neuroscience research into useful therapies that benefit patients suffering from neurological illnesses and injuries.

“Our volunteers are the greatest people in the world,” said Walker. “They’re here because they want to be. Raising this money each year is just another example of why they are so vital to the work being done here at Methodist Rehab.”

Volunteers also help with the Goodwill Art Show which is held each year at the hospital. The annual event features the works of artists with disabilities.

Given each weekday, the Points of Light Award honors an individual or organization that makes a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Originally instituted during the administration of former President George Bush, the program was reinstated in 1998 by the Points of Light Foundation, the Corporation for National Service and the Knights of Columbus. Both President George W. Bush and former President George Bush will send a congratulatory letter to the hospital. As recipients of the award in 2002, the volunteers will automatically be considered for next year’s President’s Service Award.

On Feb. 14 a reception will be held t to honor the volunteers at 2 p.m. in the hospital’s second floor conference center and information about the their work at Methodist Rehab will be featured on the Foundation’s Web site, Information about volunteering at Methodist Rehabilitation Center is available online at

The Points of Light Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that promotes community service through partnerships with a nationwide network of more than 450 volunteer centers and through alliances with corporations, nonprofits, government agencies and the media.

For more information:
Methodist Rehab volunteers receive Points of Light award | The Clarion-Ledger