Four days a week, 96-year-old Roy Schapansky gets on his scooter, rides it onto the Clovis Transit Round Up and makes his way to Clovis Community Hospital. There he can be found at the Outpatient Center, offering directions to people and transporting samples to the lab. The Clovis Guild honored Schapansky last week at a luncheon by awarding him the first annual volunteer award.
“Roy takes his job very seriously, and he really gets the job done,” said Linda Say, volunteer manager. “He’s here on time ... and you can always count on him.”
Over the past year, Schapansky gave 830 hours of his time to the hospital, and since he began volunteering there in 2007, he has volunteered a total of 5,785 hours.
“The only time he wasn’t here was when he was in the hospital, and I received a call from him when he was in the emergency room saying that he couldn’t make it that day,” Say said.
Say said Schapansky has created quite a name for himself at the hospital - she heard about him even before she began working at Clovis Community Hospital.
“Everybody knows Roy,” Say said.
Roy can be seen riding around the hospital on his electric scooter, sharing a smile with those he passes by. But it was a sad point in his life that led him to where he is today. In March 2007, his wife of more than 60 years passed away. Kirk Schapansky, Roy’s son, said that Roy became depressed without his wife at his side.
“He needed something to do,” Kirk said. “He’s not one to sit around and watch TV all day.”
So when Roy visited the Clovis Senior Center one day and learned about volunteer opportunities at Clovis Community Hospital, he decided to give a try.
“I needed something to do to keep me busy,” Roy said.
And that he did. Roy’s sons David and Kirk and daughter-in-law Kim said there was a noticeable change in Roy and he kept requesting to volunteer more and more hours.
“It gives him something to look forward to every day,” Kim said. “It gives him a purpose.”
“It’s what is helping keep him alive,” David said. “He loves to help people.”
Roy echoed what David said, saying he enjoys helping others but in doing so he also helps himself.
“It keeps me from sitting somewhere and doing nothing,” he said. “A person my age should never be doing nothing. You cannot survive if you do nothing. I’m sold on the idea of volunteering. It’s enjoyable and ... I don’t know what else I would do.”