By Courtney Zieller
Published: February 5, 2010, 6:09 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Even with a tough economy, 63.4 million people nationwide found time to volunteer last year. That's up from 2008. And local organizations are seeing a similar trend. One Sanford volunteer is working six days a week to help those who need it most.
Majean Heide has been a volunteer at Sanford Medical Center for seven years.
"I really love it. Oh, I really love it, every minute of it," Heide said.
She may not get paid, but she has a variety of jobs like escorting patients to the right rooms and helping those with questions. But no matter what she's doing, Heide has many reasons for volunteering.
"It's a way of exercise. The escorting involves a lot of walking and it's exercise, which I know I need to do to stay healthy," Heide said.
Volunteer coordinators say that's just one of many reasons more people are deciding to donate their time.
"A lot of people right now don't have a job so they're thinking, 'I need to feel worthy,' and a way they feel worthy, whether they're 20 or 108, is to volunteer and to be interacting with other people," Sanford Director of Volunteers Nona Bixler said.
Bixler says some volunteer because they just moved to the area. Others may have lost a loved one or are looking for a career in the medical field. But no matter what the reason, people want to help.
"I think people are willing to give. A lot of people can't give financially but we can give our time." Bixler said.
As for Heide, she says the whole experience makes her feel good.
"Doing something for others and expecting nothing in return. I do this by choice, I'm choosing to do it because I enjoy it so much," Heide said.
A rewarding experience that has her coming back almost every day.
Heide also sews bags that are given to school children in the community.
If you'd like to find volunteer opportunities, you can visit the HELP!Line Center's Web site.
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