For Edith Rosenblatt, volunteer coordinator for children services at Duke Children’s Hospital, National Volunteer Week has always been a perfect chance to recognize the many Duke and community volunteers who give their time to patients and families.
This year’s National Volunteer Week, which ended Saturday, was no different except for one thing: Rosenblatt received a little recognition of her own.
As the 2010 recipient of the Duke University Employee Community Service Award, given by Duke’s Office of Community Affairs, Rosenblatt was honored for her long-time contributions to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham, which received $200 on her behalf.
“I was just thrilled to receive this honor, and it was very much unexpected,” she said. “I love the kids, I love the families. Anything I can do to be of help to them, at the hospital or at the Ronald McDonald House, is very, very rewarding to me.”
Rosenblatt helped found the Ronald McDonald House of Durham in 1980, to provide a supportive place where families could stay when their seriously ill children need access to Duke Children’s Hospital. She has since served as the organization’s board treasurer, president, operations committee chair and executive committee member. She led the efforts to create a Ronald McDonald Family Room within Duke Children’s Hospital. And every month, Rosenblatt has served meals to the resident children and their families through the Kiwanis Club.
Noreen Strong, executive director of the house, said it is difficult to summarize Rosenblatt’s contributions over the years.
“Edith is the one volunteer we call on the most often,” Strong said. “She does not hesitate to arrive early or stay late to help us … She often provides guidance and serves as our problem-solver, drawing on her knowledge of the stress that families have with a child in intensive care.”
Phail Wynn Jr., Duke Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs, said Rosenblatt is an example of how Duke employees make a difference in Durham.
“By fulfilling the university’s mission of knowledge in service to society, the Duke community can have considerable impact in the community at large,” Wynn said.
Duke employees are encouraged to give back through the DukeConnects Challenge, an online competition to see which departments and individual employees can record the most volunteer hours between April 18 and May 25. Follow this link to learn more and to find a range of local volunteer opportunities.