July 2, 2002
Points of Light Foundation singles out Methodist Rehabilitation Center volunteer
By Collin Johnson
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—Even in retirement, Ken Slaugther is finding ways to reach out to young people. When the former schoolteacher and principal retired, he said he felt a need to stay involved with young people in his community. Each week, the Jackson resident volunteers his time to help patients at Methodist Rehabilitation Center.
The caring and dedication he’s shown toward those patients is a big reason why he’s earned the Daily Points of Light Award—a national distinction awarded each weekday to an individual or organization that makes a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.
Earlier this year, the team of volunteers at Methodist Rehab earned the award collectively on Valentine’s Day.
“We are so blessed to have such wonderful hard working and talented people donating their time to our staff and patients,” said Sandra Walker, director of volunteer services at Methodist Rehab. “Ken is tireless in his dedication to our patients and especially to our youth.”
Methodist Rehab volunteers read and write letters for patients, escort them to therapy and help them with their meals. They also deliver the surgery schedule, assist the chaplain, staff the admissions desk, help in pharmacy, conduct tours, deliver mail and work closely with the hospital’s Boy Scout Troop.
Slaughter said he always had a place in his heart for the Methodist church. And it was that love that lead him to volunteering at Methodist Rehab after his retirement.
“This is a place where miracles happen,” he said. “You see it all the time. Here, it’s always around you and I wanted to be a part of it.”
After spending a career helping children, Slaughter said he especially loves working with Methodist Rehab’s young patients and seeing them get their lives back on track.
“There’s no better feeling than to see a young person walk out of the hospital after being seriously injured. I like to think I have a small part in that healing process,” he added.
Originally instituted during the administration of former President George Bush, the program was reinstated in 1998 by the Points of Light Foundation, the Corporation for National Service and the Knights of Columbus. Both President George W. Bush and former President George Bush will send a Slaughter a congratulatory letter.
As a 2002 recipient, Slaughter will automatically be considered for next year’s Presidential Service Award.
Hilda Bracy, right, a rehab technician in Methodist Rehabilitation Center's stroke program, congratulates Ken Slaughter, a hospital volunteer recognized by the Points of Light Foundation.