Donald and Delores Young have lots of stories.
The tales don't come from adventurous or jet-setting lifestyles, but from the families they meet in the Family Surgery Waiting Room at Doctors Hospital.
Through the Martinez couple's 13 years of volunteering at the hospital, they have gotten numerous invitations - from an 11-year-old's birthday party in Mitchell, Ga., to other small towns from which many people travel to the hospital for treatment.
The Youngs were awarded the 2003 Frist Award for the Volunteers of the Year, and hospital Diagnostic Services Director John Doriot was presented with the 2003 Frist Humanitarian Award as Employee of the Year at a March 22 ceremony. Doriot and the Youngs are now in contention for the nationwide awards, the highest honor an employee or volunteer can earn within HCA, the parent company of Doctors Hospital.
The Youngs, who never volunteer separately, greet each family with smiles and treat each person as if they were the most important on earth, said Terry Gunn, the hospital's CEO who presented the awards.
"(A smile) makes so much difference, and how people come back and talk to us makes the job worth it," Mr. Young said. "It is very rewarding."
Mr. Young, 75, retired from Bechtel 13 years ago and has been volunteering with Delores, 72, ever since. They also volunteer in the Employee Health Department.
"We like it," Mrs. Young said. "We are active people. We don't enjoy sitting at home. It is just one of those things. We get more out of it than we give, and the people are so appreciative."
The couple, who has four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, also helped establish the Faith Care Clinic, a local indigent-care clinic. The Youngs schedule all appointments as the clinic calls are redirected to their home.
Doriot, who started as assistant lab manager in 1991, does not have as much free time as the Youngs, but he still manages to give his time to several organizations, including the United Way, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.
He is a board member of Shepeard Community Blood Center and volunteers and coordinates the volunteer schedule for hospital employees at Golden Harvest Food Bank's Masters Table Soup Kitchen.
"An organization should give back to the community," Doriot said. "I am very blessed. I am very lucky. I think I should try and give back to the community. Golden Harvest keeps me grounded."
Doriot, whose job includes several departments, is convinced that if he is not taking of customers, he should be taking care of his employees.
When not working, Doriot cultivates bonsai trees and works in the yard of his Martinez home. He is married to Jeanne, a teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary School, and has an 18-year-old son, Alex.
"It has been great," Doriot said of his ride from lab manager to director of Diagnostic Services. "I love what I do now. I wouldn't be able to go back to just being lab manager. I won't be able to be involved in so many things."
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