For the media

Volunteering for years with joy

By The Health News Team | April 20, 2023
Linda Makinson at Sharp Memorial Hospital

Linda Makinson began volunteering at Sharp in 2017 and has since accrued more than 800 service hours.

Linda Makinson starts each Monday and Wednesday morning helping to train new volunteers at the medical campus that’s home to Sharp Memorial Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns and Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital. It’s a role the mother of three and retired senior product marketing manager has come to love.

“I help new volunteers identify their areas of interest,” she says. “Many of our volunteers are either in college or recent graduates looking for a career in the medical field, so they’re really excited to learn by helping our staff.”

Linda herself remembers being in the same position when she began volunteering on the campus in 2017. “The first role I had was seeing various patients, who perhaps didn’t have any friends or family who could visit them. I would walk with a patient to the gardens to simply sit and provide some company,” she says.

800 hours and counting
For Linda, the decision to volunteer at Sharp came easily because the staff work with volunteers to find a good fit. She gravitated toward volunteering here because she already had professional experience working with Sharp and other health care organizations.

One of 265 volunteers who work at the medical campus, Linda has accrued more than 800 service volunteer hours at Sharp. She and the others assist staff members, patients and visitors with nonclinical tasks in various hospital units.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and its several surges, Linda’s in-person volunteering at the campus went on temporary hiatus.

“We weren’t allowed to go into the hospitals for safety reasons during that time, and I missed that interaction with the Sharp staff so much,” she says. “It was an amazing feeling being able to return when conditions were safe.”

Robert Page, manager of Volunteer Services, also remembers those times. He says that in March 2020, they went from having hundreds of volunteers to none. “We are incredibly thankful for the volunteers who have returned to assist in numerous areas such as the Family Resource Center, concierge, James S. Brown Pavilion (formerly called Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion) and Sharp Allison deRose Rehabilitation Center,” he says.

Filling a need in the NICU
While Linda enjoys all aspects of her volunteering roles, she has a fondness for helping nurses at Sharp Mary Birch’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “Being able to help them so that the tiny, precious babies can become healthy is absolutely amazing,” she says. “I am motivated every time I walk into the unit.”

Many team members, such as Robert, appreciate Linda’s commitment to volunteering. “We are very fortunate to have her as a part of our volunteer team,” he says.

Linda says volunteering at the hospitals brings her immense joy and personal satisfaction. “When I return home, I’m happy knowing that I was able to make someone else’s job a little bit easier,” she says.

Learn about volunteering opportunities at Sharp HealthCare.

For the news media: To talk with Robert Page about this story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at


Linda Makinson


Linda Makinson is a volunteer at Sharp Memorial Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns and Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.

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