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Spotting a volunteer just got easier at Upstate

Halleluyah “Lou” Adebiyi, left, and Stanley Simon model the new Upstate volunteer uniforms. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN Halleluyah “Lou” Adebiyi, left, and Stanley Simon model the new Upstate volunteer uniforms. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN


Hundreds of dedicated and valuable volunteers at Upstate University Hospital are now a little easier to spot.

With more than 800 people volunteering annually through Upstate’s Office of Volunteer Programs, volunteer services are critical to helping patients and visitors at Upstate University Hospital’s downtown and community sites. For many years those volunteers have worn navy blue shirts, vests and jackets to distinguish them from other people in the hospital. But navy blue tends to be a common color, said Kristin Bruce, director of volunteer services.

“I don’t think people know that we have volunteers because you don’t always see them,” Bruce said. “Now you won’t be able to miss them.”

All Upstate volunteers began wearing bright blue polos, T-shirts and vests this fall to make them stand out in Upstate spaces. The volunteer hue — a blue the color of a perfect summer sky — is unique among Upstate colors assigned to departments such as environmental (green), transport (purple) or operating room staff (turquoise or maroon). And the T-shirts say “Volunteer” in large white letters across the back, which should help them stand out even more.

“It’s such a bright color you’ll be able to spot a volunteer right away,” Bruce said. “And if you’re lost, that’s a big help.”

Why volunteer?

The volunteer programs office recently surveyed its volunteers about why they choose to volunteer. Here are some favorite responses:

-- “To help where needed, to continue to be active, to be involved with life, to be part of something.”

-- “Because I think if everyone took a second to help someone else, the world would be a better place.”

-- “To gain exposure in the medical field while helping others in need.”

-- “Because I can make a difference in people’s lives.”

-- “To give back to the community that has given to me. Now that I am retired I have time to hopefully make someone else’s day a little brighter.”

Want to volunteer at Upstate?

Upstate offers many types of volunteer opportunities in several locations. The goal is always to find the appropriate fit for the applicant and the hospital. Adult volunteers must be 18 or older. A typical schedule is four hours per week.

Visit www.upstate.edu/volunteers for more information and to fill out the volunteer application form. You may also call 315-464-5180 with questions or for more information.

This article is from the winter 2020 issue of Upstate Health magazine.