Harold Harden

Volunteer Spotlight - Harold Harden

Long before the sun comes up and hours before the first paid employee arrives at Phoebe Surgicare, volunteer Harold Harden is there getting the area ready for the day. “I wake up at home, get up, walk the dog, drink some coffee and come to work,” Harold said. But his actual routine is much more impressive than that humble description.

Harold typically arrives at Phoebe at 2:30 a.m. “When I come in in the morning, I open all the doors and check the beds,” Harold said. “I keep drinks in the refrigerator for the patients. I go to printing to pick up paperwork.” And he does all that before the first patients arrive.

He also wheels patients to the proper locations around the department, makes sure the blanket warmer is full and prepares charts and pre-admit testing folders for patients in Surgicare and the Digestive Disease Center. “I wouldn’t want to be any other place,” he said. “I love Surgicare because of the people. We get along real good together.”

Every Tuesday, Harold helps with the Total Joint Camp. Employees say his dedicated support of that class helped Phoebe attain total joint accreditation this year.

Harold was born in Alabama and served in the U.S. Navy. He moved to Albany in 1966. “I just fell in love with the town and the people,” he said. He worked for Service Parts Warehouse and the Dougherty County Public Library System before retiring and joining Phoebe as a volunteer. “I’m 80 years old, and people don’t want to hire anybody that’s 80, and I just didn’t want to sit home and watch the four walls,” Harold said. “I thoroughly enjoy what I do here.”

Harold has logged as many as 2,100 volunteer hours in one year at Phoebe, but his goal this year is an astonishing 3,000 hours. And he just might reach that goal. Except for an occasional vacation and annual trips to see the Indianapolis 500 and to visit his brother in Delaware, Harold is in Surgicare every day it’s open for business. “The people that I work with are just as friendly and nice as they can be. They miss me when I’m gone, and when I’m gone, I miss seeing them.”

But they don’t have to miss him often, because Mr. Harold is as reliable as a sunrise. The only difference is he shows up a lot earlier than the sun.