FORT BENNING, GA – “I volunteer to give back,” said Winnie Wimberly. “I like helping people. I do it just to serve others.”
Serve others indeed. The Red Cross volunteer started giving her time to Martin Army Community Hospital’s Beneficiary Services in June 2015. Giving on average 28 hours a week. That kind of selfless dedication adds up.
“Ms. Wimberly puts in over 1200 volunteer hours annually,” said patient advocate Victor Vizcarrondo. “She diligently comes in anytime we are operating at a deficit.
“Her motivation appears to be just her love for people, her commitment to public service and being a family member to a Soldier for life.”
Wimberly started volunteering at BMACH because she wanted to use her skills to make a difference in the lives of others. Her husband, a former Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical specialist, retired at Ft. Benning in 1999. The self-proclaimed people person started working as an office automation clerk for DoDEA schools. She left her job in 2008, but she never lost the urge to help make her community at large a better place.
“Best part of volunteering is meeting different people and interacting with them,” shared Wimberly. “In this section we have referral management, we have patient advocates, we have enrollment … we have travel.
“Every situation is different and unique. So whatever the beneficiary needs, I just assist them. If I can help even one person, that’s what does it for me.”
Wimberly’s commitment to show up whenever needed recently earned her the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This highest presidential honor is reserved for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime. To date, she has volunteered more than double that – 8700 hours.
“Volunteering your precious time to help us do our mission to take care of patients obviously speaks to the kind of person that you are,” said Hospital Commander Col. Kevin Kelly during the award presentation. “Thank you so much for the example that you set for our team.”
The grandmother of eight has been sure to instill the value of volunteerism in the next generation, who all live in the Columbus area.
“I really enjoy what I do here. That’s why I come weekly,” said Wimberly. “You are family to me, I love each of you. Anytime you ever need me you know I will be here for you.”