Have you seen the new electric shuttle on the Mercy Campus? It is the Volunteer Services’ Polaris GEM® scooting around the campus bringing patients and visitors up to the hospital and back to their vehicles.
“It arrived on Tuesday, February 25,” said Kathy Daly, manager of Volunteer Services, “and we put it into service right away. With the construction at the Mercy Campus, and the walk to the front door for patients and visitors from the parking lots, it is essential.”
With a top speed of 25 mph, the GEM® is a highly rated, six-passenger shuttle with heat, windshield wipers, visors, and all the bells and whistles.
We are honored to share that this $26,000 shuttle was fully funded through philanthropy and our annual Wish List program. Each year, the Volunteer Board selects equipment, technology and services to fund from the proceeds of the volunteer sales, the Gift Shoppes, and the Lobbyside Café. When the idea of the GEM® shuttle was proposed, it was among several items they were excited to fund this year.
The previous volunteer shuttle was an open, gas-operated golf cart known for frequent breakdowns and costly repairs. It is now out of service.
It is easy to spot the GEM® on the Mercy Campus. The Marketing Department created a colorful, eye-catching graphic wrap, making it bright and cheery. It is an effective moving billboard for recruiting more volunteers.
The volunteer shuttle drivers are raving about it. They no longer need to bundle up in the winter. It is a classy unit, one they are proud to drive. On the fourth day in service, the shuttle driver picked up nearly 100 people during a 4.5 hour shift, which is about as many as they would pick up in a full week.
Currently, there are five volunteer drivers who cover the Monday through Friday morning shifts. Eventually, Volunteer Services hopes to cover two shifts per day. If you know of someone who is interested in volunteering, please contact Volunteer Services at 231-728-4711.
“We are so proud to be able to support this unit, and give our guests, patients and their family members a better experience,” said Daly. “Without the support and dedication of our volunteers and our colleagues, this vehicle would not have been possible.”
Many other Wish List items were recently purchased for Mercy Health Muskegon. We thank our colleagues and community for your continued support of the Gift Shoppes, Volunteer Sales and the Lobby Side Café! This is Philanthropy at Work!