Volunteer Spotlight: Virginia Godkin

Virginia Godkin (seated, far left) at MedShare Western Region’s Volunteer Appreciation Event. She received the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for devoting over 100 hours this year.

“Virginia Godkin is our oldest volunteer, and she volunteers two or three times a week. She has volunteered 236 hours in just the last 12 months and over 400 hours since we opened (not quite three years ago). That’s pretty amazing when you think that she’s standing for much of that time in our unheated/uncooled warehouse. She is a retired surgical nurse from the era when nurses actually pulled supplies and sterilized them. This makes her very valuable on the stainless steel sorting team and really whenever we sort. She always claims she’s forgotten everything but she has helped us many times with items we didn’t recognize. I want to be like her when I’m in my 80s…she’s active, good natured, smart and humble. She regularly brings in donut holes and other goodies to share with all the volunteers. We love her.” 

– Terry Monday, Volunteer Programs Manager

Virginia (front, center) at a container shipment ceremony earlier this year

Name: Virginia Godkin

Age and Occupation: I will be 87 in July, and I’m a retired Surgical Nurse.

Hometown: San Leandro, CA

Please describe yourself in one sentence. Local community volunteer.

When did you first hear about MedShare? I first heard about MedShare at my therapy pool about a year after they opened their warehouse in San Leandro. I was told it was a wonderful organization and wanted to check it out for myself.

How would you describe your volunteer experience at MedShare? It has been very good and enlightening. I’d encourage anyone who has a few hours to volunteer at MedShare – it’s a great experience.

How long have you been volunteering at MedShare? Since January 2009.

What inspired you to get involved? After hearing about MedShare, I wanted to go see what it was all about. Once there, I saw all this stuff that was resurrected from hospitals and saved from landfills. People need this equipment, but it would go to waste were it not for MedShare. I wanted to help.

What is it that motivates you to keep volunteering at MedShare? I feel as though I’m accomplishing something. I volunteer two days a week, and it’s also become a social gathering for me.

Have you been involved with MedShare in other ways besides sorting supplies? If so, please explain. In addition to sorting medical supplies, I’m also helping to organize the stainless steel sorting program. I work alongside JoAnna Hansen-Morton and Camille Didas. It was backlogged for a while, but we’re getting it caught up.

What has been your favorite MedShare moment or story during your time serving with us? My favorite moments are when a container ships out to a country in need. During the shipment ceremonies, the staff does a great job of illustrating how these containers will make a difference in recipient’s lives. It is a good feeling to see our hard work make the world a better place.

To learn more about volunteering at MedShare, click here.

This is an excerpt from June’s e-newsletter. To read more – including a story of a medical mission team in Ethiopia and how we’re supporting the world’s soon-to-be newest nation – click here.