82-year-old volunteer hits 17,000 hours

July 2, 2008 12:24:47 PM PDT
Clara Rock knows a thing or two about taking care of ailing patients. She's not a doctor or a nurse, but she has helped make a stay at a suburban hospital a lot nicer for many people over the last 15 years. She endeared herself to everyone from the moment she walked through the door at Little Company Of Mary Hospital In Evergreen Park. That was 15 years ago and since then she has been one of the most devoted volunteers there.

"I've always wanted to be a nurse, but I didn't get the chance to go to school. So, this is what I'm doing...so I thought I'd volunteer," said Rock.

At 82 years old, Rock sometimes spends 10 hours at a time at the hospital.

"Sometimes I go home and then I come back," said Rock, who has accumulated 17,000 volunteer hours.

"Seventeen thousand hours is a lot for someone who's been here 15 years and I think it's because she come here 4 days a week...and she works so many hours so it just shows how much she's willing to do for others," said Carol Martinez, manager of volunteer service.

Rock is a bit of community celebrity as she's known for dressing up as the Statue of Liberty in the Fourth of July parade.

"I've done it every year. I didn't want to do it this year because I thought they were tired of seeing me but they said, 'Nope. We want you to wear it.' So, I'll be statue of liberty again Thursday," said Rock.

A fixture in the parade- and at the hospital.

"I'm helping people and I like people... and that's about it. I enjoy it very much. I didn't ever realize that I had that many hours in until they told me," said Rock.


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