BEAVERCREEK — Young or old, anyone can volunteer.
Beavercreek residents Tony Romano, 85 and Nicole Alexander, 19, both have an important message to share during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21 – volunteering is a great way to give back to the community.
Romano began volunteering at Kettering Health Network’s Soin Medical Center in 2013. Alexander began volunteering there as a freshman in high school.
“When you are volunteering you are helping people,” Romano said. “I may be greeting folks at the door or taking someone to find a doctor for the first time – no matter what I do it’s about helping people.”
Romano spent the majority of his career with Beavercreek City Schools and was the announcer of high school girls’ basketball games. He was born and raised in New Jersey. After he met and married his wife, Joyce, they moved to Beavercreek. They were married 59 years and had three children. Romano now has nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
“I’ve always been a people person. When my wife passed away, I thought, even though I’m not a medical person, this would be a way for me to help others.”
Alexander is studying to become a nurse at Kettering College and believes this experience is essential for her career.
“My father worked at a hospital, and I always knew I wanted to be a nurse,” she said. “I thought this was a great way for me to get a real feel for nursing and to meet people working in the field.”
The young volunteer was born and raised in Beavercreek. She lives with her parents, an older sister who is also at Kettering College and a younger brother. She also volunteers at her church.
Being a patient support volunteer is very rewarding to her, “I go to all the patient rooms,” she said. “It makes my entire day being able to see a patient. I get to sit and talk to them. I can see firsthand how much it can positively impact them.”
Both have enjoyed being at Soin and credit volunteer coordinator Marilee Prezinger for her dedication to the volunteers and helping them find the best use of their skills and personalities at the hospital.
Soin is a second home to both volunteers. They feel like the “family atmosphere” is “like no other.”
“I just think Soin Medical Center has been one of the most amazing places to be part of – everyone is so connected to the volunteer mission,” said Alexander.
To volunteer at Soin Medical Center contact Pretzinger at 937-702-4000.