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Volunteering Increases Joy for Charleston Woman

April 29, 2019 2:54 p.m.

Libby Damann loves making a difference by serving as a volunteer at Sarah Bush Lincoln.

For nearly 20 years, she has worked alongside patients and caregivers in the Regional Cancer Center to provide comfort, hope and support to patients and their families. “I look forward to the days when I volunteer in the Regional Cancer Center. I like doing whatever I can to help people, like bringing them a warm blanket and a pillow or something to eat or drink. I sit and visit with them if they feel like talking,” she said.

Libby is also part of a group that makes and delivers homemade crafts to people receiving care and she is quick to lend a hand and work extra hours if necessary. For her unwavering dedication, Libby was named Volunteer of the Year in 2019 at the Guild’s annual banquet. “It was an unexpected pleasant surprise. I had tears in my eyes,” she said.  Libby was also touched by a surprise visit from her brother, Gus Damann, who traveled from Belleville to hear the announcement. 

Volunteer Services Director Colleen Stoner called Libby an extremely valuable volunteer.  “Libby is the kind of person that is a volunteer manager’s dream. She is so kind and willing to do anything she can to help out, regardless of the task at hand.  She is truly someone we know we can count on and is an integral part of our volunteer family,” Stoner said.

Libby is quick to acknowledge that volunteering helped provide her a sense of purpose during a difficult time in her life. She became deeply depressed after the loss of her mother in 1998 and is grateful to fellow volunteer Barbara Blagg for bringing her along to work with her in the Regional Cancer Center in 2000. It didn’t take long before Libby made volunteering a lifelong mission. 

“My mother served as a pink lady in the hospital auxiliary when we lived in New York so I’m glad to be following in her footsteps,” she said. Following high school, Libby earned her certificate to become a certified nurse assistant, but was unable to work full time due to health reasons. “Volunteering has been great. You become connected to everyone and everything in some way,”  she said. “I'm sure my mother is looking down on me and I hope she's proud.” 

After losing several family members to cancer, including her father, Libby especially appreciates the opportunity to give back. She also is being monitored  by her doctor for two precancerous conditions, which motivates her to contribute even more as a show of gratitude for the compassionate care she’s received. “I’m happy to help any way I can,” she said. 

Quick to share a smile, she has developed lasting friendships with patients, staff members and fellow volunteers alike. “Libby is so kind and she always has a smile on her face. She strives to make you feel good and comfortable,” one nominator wrote. 

Another nominator said “Libby has an infectious smile and welcoming attitude for everyone she meets in the Cancer Center and with other volunteers in the craft group, rummage sale and special events.
She is willing to help in any way she can and she makes the tasks fun for all. She cares for the patients, employees and fellow volunteers with honesty and compassion.”

Libby plans to keep volunteering at SBL as long as she can. She is also an active volunteer at Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston.

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