Verla Olson, Longtime North Memorial Volunteer

Verla Olson first came to volunteer at North Memorial in 1965. “I used to watch my neighbor’s children while she went to volunteer and I decided to try it myself, so I joined the Auxiliary,” remembers Verla.

More than 47 years later Verla is still volunteering. She has done a variety of jobs as North Memorial’s longest serving volunteer. Verla started out in Pediatrics, and when that job changed she became a tour guide. “I loved bringing the school children on tours and showing them x-rays and all of the interesting places at North Memorial.” 

Verla and others started doing tray favors for patient food trays. She has been coordinating and making tray favors ever since. The group makes a small item to be placed on every patient’s tray for each holiday, amounting to about 300 handmade tokens per holiday. Verla is humble about her efforts. “We are copiers, not creators. It gets difficult to come up with new ideas that don’t take a lot of time since we are a small group.” Sometimes the ladies work on them at home to make sure they are all completed on time.

What keeps Verla coming back after all these years? “I love the people I get to work with and North Memorial is like part of my home,” she says. Verla also enjoys the flexible schedule, which includes summers off. Verla has rarely missed a week of volunteering since she started in the mid 1960s.