Volunteering seems ingrained in Sandy Hopkins’ life. Though now a grandmother, she recalls being a volunteer before she had her own children. “I wasn’t working,” she recalled. “I felt like giving to somebody else, instead of sitting around the house watching soap operas.”
When she was pregnant with one of her children, she was volunteering in an OBGYN department at the Edwards Air Force Base hospital. She remembers seeing her OB doctor that morning while she was volunteering, and that night the same doctor delivered her baby.
A Lompoc resident with her husband, Jerry, for 22 years, Sandy said she was again looking for something to do when she began volunteering at the “old” Lompoc hospital on C Street.
“My mom did a lot of volunteering,” Sandy said. “I guess it just seemed natural.”
She and Jerry also deliver Meals on Wheels each week, and she used to go to grocery stores to collect day-old bread to deliver to the Food Pantry. With Meals on Wheels, she’d sometimes take seniors to their doctor appointments or help them with shopping.
“Sometimes you are the only contact they have for some amount of time,” Sandy said.
Her regular shift as a Blue Coat volunteer at the hospital is on Tuesdays, and she said she enjoys interacting with patients and staff.
“Two hours seems like no time at all,” she says. “With all the time you have in a week, it’s almost like it’s not giving much.”
She said she is happy to be able to help people coming into the hospital for procedures or to visit, and making them comfortable or providing assistance.
“Generally people appreciate you telling them where to go,” she says with a laugh. “When you see what they’re going through, you don’t worry about the problems you have. You just feel better if you know you’re doing something for somebody else. You’re helping out a little bit … I feel I’m paying it forward. I’m going to need someone to take care of me!”