Roslyn “Roz” Fox feared the unknown after her husband’s bypass surgery at Cedars-Sinai.
Recognizing Roz’s anxiety, a nurse accompanied her to the room to see him.
“I remember walking in and squeezing the nurse’s hand,” says Roz. “That nurse was so comforting and compassionate that I said to myself, ‘When I retire, I want to give back.'”
“I know it’s not easy for a family member to wait around for hours wondering what’s going on with their loved one.”
After a 21-year career as an assistant and office manager, Roz kept her promise and began volunteering at Cedars-Sinai in 2011.
“I know it’s not easy for a family member to wait around for hours wondering what’s going on with their loved one,” Roz says.
“Now, when I see a family experiencing what I experienced, I tell them, ‘I’ve sat where you’re sitting. I know what you’re going through.’ And that brings them some comfort.”
To date, Roz has donated more than 2,500 hours of her time to Cedars-Sinai.
We sat down with the Brooklynite-turned-Angeleno to find out what her day volunteering at the hospital is like and what she gets out of giving back.
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Q: What is your day like as a volunteer?
Roz Fox: I start my 8-hour shift on the 5th floor of the Pavilion where I take patients to get prepped for surgery and bring families in to see them before they go to surgery.
Once the patient is in recovery, I’ll bring their visitors back to see them.
Then in the afternoon I’m on the 5th floor of the hospital doing the same thing.
Sometimes I’ll get a visitor who’s confused which building they should go to. That’s when I say, “I’m going to find out exactly where you have to be.” To them, this is a big campus, but to me, it’s one I know inside out.
Q: What have you gained or learned from other volunteers?
RF: I’ve gained many friendships through volunteering.
If you work at a volunteer desk, you’ll get to know the other volunteer’s whole life and they’ll know yours.
We’re all very friendly and that’s important. We even have a group of Cedars-Sinai volunteers who go to dinner once a month and I still see some folks who no longer volunteer here.
Q: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not volunteering?
RF: I love to play Mahjong and a card game called canasta. My mother taught me how to play them when I was a kid.
Another game I play is called Mexican Train—a dominoes game—and I like Trivial Pursuit whether I know the answer or not!
“Volunteering is about giving a little bit of yourself.”
Q: What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?
RF: I would tell them how great and rewarding it is, and how amazing you feel after.
Volunteering is about giving a little bit of yourself, and you can volunteer anywhere—a library to read to children or retirement home to feed the elderly.
For me though, I always knew I wanted to volunteer at Cedars-Sinai.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Cedars-Sinai, visit Volunteer Services.