Volunteer - Olga's Story

Olga Zayas-OrtizThe thing most important to Olga Zayas-Ortiz is her family. The youngest of ten siblings and the mother of two, she has always been a caregiver at her core and easily recognizes those who are true caregivers as well. Towards the end of her life, Olga’s mother was sick often and hospitalized several times at what is now Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus.

“Every member of the hospital staff that we came in contact with was patient, sweet and understanding,” said Olga. “My mother was very reserved, so they went out of their way to always ask her if she needed anything. She was truly treated as if she were a precious family member.”

Due to the compassionate care her mother received, Olga knew she wanted to be able to give back to the hospital in some way eventually. Time was a precious commodity for her as she was not only a full time mom but also a school psychologist of 47 years. The opportunity to volunteer presented itself when her youngest started high school.

“I visited the Lots for Little Thrift Shop in Lakewood with a friend over a decade ago and was able to use my Spanish language skills to help a customer make a purchase,” Olga recalls. “The supervisor at the shop asked me to volunteer on the spot and I was excited for the opportunity to help the hospital that helped someone I love.”

More than 12 years later, Olga is still volunteering every Saturday, helping to raise funds to support the outstanding programs and services at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus.

“I love it and I think my mother would be proud,” said Olga. “I am honoring those who lovingly cared for her while helping the whole community.”