60 year volunteer at Sparrow, turns 92, keeps on going

Sparrow President and CEO Dennis Swan (right) poses with Donna Bernitt and her son Tom, who was just 3 years old when she started volunteering at Sparrow.

Published: May 14, 2013

On her 92nd birthday today, Donna Bernitt of East Lansing was honored for her countless hours of dedication to Sparrow as a Volunteer for the last six decades.

Bernitt began helping in the Sparrow East Michigan Avenue Annex that housed polio patients and went on to volunteer with the Surgical Lounge, Escorts and Mobile Meals. She is the last active founding member of the Sparrows, a group who sew stuffed toys for patients in the hospital.

"I've seen so much change...for the better," she says. "And I'm not stopping!"

Bernitt was honored at the 117th annual meeting of the Sparrow Women's Hospital Association along with more than 160 others who have reached service milestones as Sparrow volunteers. The volunteer Women's Hospital Association founded what would later become Sparrow Hospital in 1896.

"Without Donna, and the countless other volunteers who give so much time, energy and love, Sparrow would not be able to provide the type of care our Patients have come to expect," Sparrow Board of Directors Chair Greg Brogan told Bernitt.

Those interested in volunteering at Sparrow may call our Volunteer Services Department at 517.364.3606 or go to www.sparrow.org/how-to-become-volunteer.