Salomon Schein Brings Infectious Enthusiasm to Volunteering at M. D. Anderson
M. D. Anderson News Release 03/19/04
“Ask Me.” That’s the message on an M. D. Anderson button and when volunteer Salomon Schein saw it, he knew he needed one for his volunteer jacket.
“I just like to make myself available,” says Schein, a loyal three-year volunteer at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. “When I see people who look like they need help, I step in to assist. It’s just a pleasure for me.”
It’s this obvious willing spirit that makes Schein a natural volunteer and the perfect representative from the Department of Volunteer Services at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to the Texas Medical Center Salute to Volunteers in late April.
Three years ago, Schein came to M. D. Anderson as support for a friend whose wife was having surgery — and stayed. “It took me 30 minutes just to find my friend in the hospital,” he says. “M. D. Anderson is such a good place, but I noticed that the volunteers did such a beautiful job helping people. I decided then and there to become one, too.”
Schein wasted no time before immersing himself in his new volunteer job. Now, on Mondays, you can find him in the Patient/Family Center. On Tuesdays, he’s in Kim’s Place working with teens and adolescents. Two days a week, he’s at M. D. Anderson in the early morning to deliver newspapers to patients and, regularly, he’s moving around clinic waiting areas distributing magazines. During the holiday season, Schein serves on the Children’s Art Project (CAP) Task Force selling CAP cards and gifts in the Clark Clinic lobby — and he’s also a loyal ambassador for M. D. Anderson — one of Public Education’s favorite institution tour guides.
“Everybody loves him,” says Beth Cook, program coordinator working with the M. D. Anderson Ambassadors. “Our visitors, especially students who come to see the institution, catch his enthusiasm. There’s not a more helpful spirit around, and he so obviously shows everyone how much he loves his work here.”
“Salomon brings a smile to everyone’s face,” says Mary Nell Lovett, executive director of Volunteer Services. “He has made M. D. Anderson and volunteering priorities in his life and this dedication shows. He’s a go-to-guy when something needs to be done.”
Schein takes his volunteering seriously and is always on the lookout for things to improve patient life at M. D. Anderson. From signage to patient questionnaires, he takes on the smallest details to make things better here. “I can’t tell you people no,” he explains, “though when my friends hear me go on and on about M. D. Anderson, I can see their eyes begin to roll. They just don’t understand how much this place can get into your blood.”
“I’m always on the lookout for other opportunities to help,” Schein explains, “because volunteering at M. D. Anderson is a pleasure and a privilege.”
Speak to the staff of Volunteer Services at M. D. Anderson and they are quick to point out that working with this dedicated volunteer is actually their pleasure and privilege. “It sounds trite, but it’s true,” says Betty Griffith, volunteer coordinator. “We couldn’t do it without Salomon Schein.”