Volunteer Deborah Printz Leaves MedShare Legacy

MedShare Volunteer Deborah Printz

This month’s volunteer spotlight is on Deborah Printz, one of MedShare’s longest serving and most dedicated volunteers who passed away last month following a brave fight against cancer.

Born in Massachusetts, Deborah earned her Ph.D. from Duke University (where she also met her husband), and after a brief stint in New Orleans, the young family moved to Atlanta in 1971. A mom to eight children, and grandmother to one, Deborah taught biology, chemistry, and physics at various schools throughout the years – and yet still found the time to volunteer. Deborah believed her purpose was to do God’s work in the world, and she lived as a testament to her faith, always putting others above herself and wholeheartedly dedicating herself to her community.
Deborah touched lives in many ways: she started and led support groups for young mothers in the churches she attended over the years, visited unwed mothers in the neonatal unit at Crawford Long, taught Sunday School, started and led Bible study groups for many years, and visited nursing homes, often inviting friends from the home to Thanksgiving dinners with her family. At the age of 62, she organized and took a mission trip with two of her daughters to Natondome Village in Mbale, Uganda, where she led a teacher training workshop. Her family later joined together to make a contribution to the village that allowed them to refurbish their spring, providing the local residents with much-needed clean water.
MedShare was lucky to have Deborah as a volunteer for most of its history. She was so committed, in fact, that she put in over 2,000 hours. She was vital to establishing the Wednesday volunteer group in the Southeast location with her loving care to welcome and teach new members, and also helped start and maintain MedShare’s surgical steel instrument sorting program. Deborah was amazed at the amount of waste that went on in the medical arena, and liked taking an active role in getting supplies to those in need.
According to A.B. Short, CEO and Co-Founder, “MedShare’s growth and development stands on the shoulders of many individuals, and Deborah has been a key player. She has influenced how our product is sorted nationwide and without people like Deborah, MedShare would not be in the position it is today with a model that can be replicated throughout the U.S.” Deborah’s role and spirit will continue to touch MedShare for years to come.
In her last year of volunteering, Deborah’s daughter Preetam often joined her to sort medical supplies. Preetam said, “I treasure the precious time I was able to spend with her volunteering at MedShare over the last year, to see her passion in action, doing what she loved.”
To recognize Deborah’s valuable service, MedShare will be establishing an annual award in her honor. The “Deborah Printz Award” will be MedShare’s highest honor for volunteer services in the Southeastern Region for the person who gives the most volunteer hours in a year, and it will be given to an individual that mirrors Deborah’s dedication to improving the lives of others and exemplifies the sacrifice for those in need that she so wholeheartedly set out.
MedShare believes Deborah had a special place in her heart for the organization, and the sentiment is certainly echoed. Although she is missed by her family, fellow volunteers and MedShare staff, her passion and dedication to the betterment of humanity will endure.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on either Deborah or your volunteer experience in general:  Has it changed you? Did you meet someone special? Would you  like to nominate someone for our monthly Volunteer Spotlight? Please share!

(This story is an excerpt from our January e-newsletter. To read the entire newsletter – featuring stories of 2010 in review and our trip to Ghana – click here.)