Sandra Peterson handles all the action at the Neighborhood Health Clinic’s front desk on Tuesdays and Fridays. She coolly answers the 25 to 30 phone calls that come in, greets visitors and patients with a smile and follows through on all of the volunteer application procedures and time charts. “Actually, I do many little jobs,” she says, “There’s always something happening that keeps me busy from the 9:30 to 4 that I’m here.”
Keeping track of the hours that doctors, nurses, and non-medical personnel contribute to the Clinic’s operation is vital to its funding. Sandra is the one who reminds us all, “… don’t forget to put your hours in the book.”
In 1986, the Petersons retired from Connecticut to Pelican Bay in Naples. It wasn’t long before Sandra felt she had too much time on her hands. So when a friend suggested she check out the Neighborhood Health Clinic, she did. At that time, it was located in a storefront in a mall on Goodlette, south of Central Avenue. At her initial visit, Sandra signed up to volunteer. Eventually, when the clinic moved up the street to its new address at 121, that included filling lots of boxes.
When they take a break, the Petersons love to travel. Sandra’s Italian heritage initially drew the couple to Italy and now Italy draws them back. But with family in Montana and Colorado, they also frequently fly west.
“I couldn’t have found a more meaningful way to enhance my retirement than volunteering here in the Clinic” declares Sandra. “The Clinic helps so many good people in need. I feel it helps me give back for all of the blessings I’ve been given in my life.”