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The one hundred honoree: Gray Family Waiting Area Volunteers

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Gray Family Waiting Area Volunteers

Mass General Giving

Waiting. Wondering. Pacing back and forth. When a loved one is in surgery, it’s never easy for those on the other side of the doors. Fortunately, there’s a dedicated group of volunteers at Mass General who are ready to help.

The Gray Family Waiting Area Volunteers have a deep understanding of what it means to be a waiting family member, and are finely attuned to any specific needs that may arise. It’s a delicate balance of being available, yet not being in the way. They are experts at listening, respecting boundaries, and managing the logistics of long and challenging hours.

As a vital part of the care team, the Gray Family Waiting Area Volunteers provide important non-medical updates to families, including information about how soon a patient might be moved and where that patient will be located. In addition, the volunteers serve as a communication link between families and care providers.

The members of this team come from varied backgrounds. Some have been touched by cancer personally. Some have had family members cared for at Mass General. Others are simply grateful for the blessings in their lives and are motivated to give back. No matter what the reason, Pat Rowell, the retired director of Volunteer Services at Mass General, is grateful:

“There is something profound when a group of individuals steps up to be present to families on a particularly emotional day. I’ve always thought of it as a beautiful ballet…from their eye contact at the start of the experience to their knowing the importance of a nod and silence.”