Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 14, 2018
PRESS PHOTO COURTESY drawing board graphicsJill Ward with Betsy Laylon, the former director of volunteers at St. Luke’s Health Network. Laylon’s speech inspired Ward to become a volunteer at St. Luke’s University Health Network. PRESS PHOTO COURTESY drawing board graphicsJill Ward with Betsy Laylon, the former director of volunteers at St. Luke’s Health Network. Laylon’s speech inspired Ward to become a volunteer at St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Traditions of Hanover

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 by The Press in Local News

Resident accumulates over 4,000 volunteer hours

Jill Ward, a resident at Traditions of Hanover has been volunteering through various organizations for over 30 years.

Most recently, Ward, 88, can be found one day a week at St. Luke’s University Health Network. She donates about five hours of her time in the escort service to deliver flowers, papers and medical charts. She also assists nurses when they need additional help. “We do a lot of running around,” said Ward, smiling.

Currently, she has invested 4,244 hours to helping around the hospital. She began volunteering there in 1991 after listening to a beautiful speech given by Betsy Laylon, the former director of volunteers at St. Luke’s Health Network.

“I was very impressed with Betsy’s speech,” recalled Ward. “And, since I became a volunteer there I have never regretted one day of it!”

In 2016, Ward received the Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barak Obama for her lifelong commitment to building a stronger nation through volunteer service. She has previously volunteered in the kitchen at Trinity Episcopal Church and at various festivals in Bethlehem, such as Musikfest, Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival and Christkindlmarkt. She has also helped out in the Northampton County Special Olympics.

When she’s not volunteering, Ward occupies her time with other activities at Traditions of Hanover. She exercises frequently through participation in Chair Yoga, Zumba and Wii bowling. To help keep her mind sharp, she enjoys puzzles and other brain-challenging games.

“I tried living in an apartment before moving here, even though I did a lot of volunteer work, I still felt isolated,” said Ward. “I thought I should go where there are more people, I love it here and the staff is wonderful.”