The Madera Community Hospital League of Volunteers has dozens upon dozens of members, but none has yet to give as much time as Nadine Burpo, who was honored Friday for 50,000 hours of service.
Burpo, 81, has been a hospital volunteer in Madera for more than 20 years. Before that, she also clocked in 10 years of free work in a hospital in the city of Westminster, which is part of Orange County. She didn't have experience or a career in healthcare, but was drawn to hospitals because she enjoyed helping and being around people, said Burpo.
When her husband was alive, she worked as the bookkeeper for his business. He passed away two years ago, and that has kept her ever closer to the gift shop, which she manages in the hospital. She’s spends about 21 hours there every week selling products such as See’s candy, willow tree figurines, jewelry, toys, baby items and many holiday decorations.
Burpo has been in charge of it since former manager Renate Smith passed away. Burpo worked under Smith, who was also a longtime volunteer and invested 25,000 hours of service...