There is a theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. If that’s true, Mount Shasta’s Laurie Levy is a master at keeping the staff at Mercy Medical Center happy. She’s been volunteering her time, smiles and energy at the hospital since she was 13 and has logged nearly 11,000 hours.
There is a theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. If that’s true, Mount Shasta’s Laurie Levy is a master at keeping the staff at Mercy Medical Center happy. She’s been volunteering her time, smiles and energy at the hospital since she was 13 and has logged nearly 11,000 hours. Now 34, Laurie files paperwork, sorts and delivers mail, sends faxes, makes copies, shreds paper and fetches coffee. “She always comes in and gives me a hug to brighten my day,” said Dawn Smith, a cashier at Mercy. “I’m always happy to see her. I think everyone’s happy to see her. Anything we need, she gets it. She delivers anything anywhere.” Anne Happ, medical records clerk at the Mercy Clinic, said she if she’s having a down day, Laurie always knows and does something to cheer her up. “She brings out the best in me. She makes me better than I am. Laurie is more than a volunteer. She’s family,” said Happ. When she was young, Laurie had serious health problems that affected the rest of her life. That experience was motivation for the work she does supporting those who give nursing care to others. “I just feel like God gave me the heart to serve,” said Laurie, who knows all the ins and outs at the hospital and is known by virtually everyone who passes her in the halls. “I like to stay active. This is my job.” Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Laurie wakes up early to be at Mercy at 6:30 a.m. Because she doesn’t drive, she comes in with her mother, June Clary, a hospital purchasing agent. Laurie began volunteering when she was a sixth grader at Sisson Elementary. After school, she’d walk to Mercy and fold towels and washcloths while waiting for her mom to finish work. From folding, she moved on to gathering dirty laundry and switching clean laundry from the washer to the dryer. Laurie then began helping in the medical records department, where she volunteered for 15 years. She now works with her mom in purchasing and often at the Mercy Clinic, but during the course of her eight-hour day, she does whatever task she’s asked. “Laurie is a delight to work with,” said Happ. She’s willing to try anything and she’s very cooperative. She considers this her job, and she produces. I work with a lot of volunteers, and I don’t know anyone else that has that many hours.” “I’ll be walking down the hall, and someone will say, ‘Laurie, which way are you going?’ and I’ll say, ‘this way, but where do you need me to go?’ I get pulled in millions of directions but I’m always willing to do it,” Laurie said. “My favorite part of working here is making sure everyone’s day goes better and they have what they need. I’m glad to be here to help.” Laurie is perfectly willing to help behind the scenes at Mercy, but isn’t interested in working with the patients. “I’m more of an efficient organizer,” she said. When she’s not on the job at the hospital, Laurie spends time with her cat, Brownie, a stray that she rescued from the hospital alley. The 1999 Mount Shasta High School graduate enjoys traveling. She’s been to Hawaii, South Carolina and New York and loves seeing new places and meeting new people. Laurie previously volunteered at Coffee Connection and at a food bank in Weed. “I want to work until I’m 90,” said Laurie. “I don’t want to stop. I like Betty White’s philosophy. I think I’m going to go with that.”