No Moss for this Rolling Stone
Torrance Memorial’s most decorated volunteer celebrates 50 years
of service, with no sign of slowing down.
When Mimi Brody first started volunteering at Torrance Memorial Medical
Center in 1969, doctors and nurses smoked on campus, the gift shop was
a rolling cart that traveled to patients’ rooms, and she and her
fellow volunteers wore pink candy striper uniforms.
Today 91-year-old Brody—in the role of the Auxiliary’s gift
shop co-chair—orders merchandise online for the gift shop. Torrance
Memorial is a seven-story, smoke-free campus, and she and her 900 volunteer
cohorts wear white pants and bright blue tops. Brody also displays her
name tag, which proudly highlights more than 28,200 volunteer hours.
That’s 50 years of service, making Brody Torrance Memorial’s
longest-serving volunteer. She had just moved from Inglewood to Torrance
at the time her two daughters were starting high school. While working
a new job as a full-time administrative assistant in the area, she was
asked by a friend to join the Torrance Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
“I had to do something. I am not a stay-at-home person, that has
just never been me,” says Brody. And from that day forward, she
has never looked back.
Primarily providing volunteer service to the gift shop and pharmacy department
and welcoming patients and visitors at the information desk, Brody is
known and adored by many staff, physicians and hospital administrators.
Auxiliary volunteers also provide a variety of roles, from cuddling babies
in the neonatal intensive care unit to delivering flowers—all of
which undoubtedly contribute to the medical center’s consistently
stellar patient satisfaction rankings.
Brody has served on the Auxiliary board as president, treasurer and parliamentarian,
as well as on the bylaws committee. Her biggest passion, though, has always
been the gift shop. She proudly shares that it is a 100% volunteer-operated
program that gives back an average of $300,000 in profits to the hospital
each year. Her leadership in this area has contributed greatly to donations
of more than $6 million to the Torrance Memorial Foundation over the years.
On June 11 Torrance Memorial hosted a tea party and fashion show to honor
Brody, who is still working five to 10 hours a week and attributes her
longevity as a volunteer to keeping her active and encouraged. “I
see so many people with problems who are usually much younger than I am,”
she says. “It not only keeps me grounded, but in addition to working
with so many great people, it reminds me how lucky I am to be able to
do this work.”
“I am amazed at Mimi’s longevity and so grateful for her commitment
to Torrance Memorial,” says Mary Matson, director of service excellence.
“I wish I had half as much energy as she does.” She continues
kiddingly, “Basically we all hope to be like Mimi when we grow up.”