Phyllis Trissal puts the finishing touches on floral arrangements at Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis.
She arranges bake sales once a year at Via Christi hospitals on St. Francis and on East Harry, and she meets once a month with other volunteers to make dolls, pillows, throws and small toy animals for nursing homes, cancer organizations and children in pediatrics.
“We try to make things that will cheer people up a bit,” said Trissal, 80.
Since 1989, she has logged more than 14,000 hours with Via Christi.
Her boss, Ann Blick, floral coordinator at Via Christi’s gift shops, calls Trissal her “lieutenant commander.”
“Whenever I leave the room, I say, ‘Phyllis, you have the bridge,’ ” Blick said. “I can’t put a price on her. She’s invaluable.”
Before she was a volunteer, Trissal was a claims representative for two insurance companies. Volunteering, she said, affords her the opportunity to serve others, meet new friends and learn new skills.
She said she has found gratitude in working.
“The hospital is my main job,” she said. “It keeps me busy.
“I love my volunteer job.”