Retire-To Volunteering

Host Ed Zinkiewicz uncovers engaging—sometimes surprising, but never dull— volunteer opportunities available to retirees. Interviewing volunteers and volunteer coordinators each week, Ed highlights the meaningful contributions volunteers make and also the rewards volunteers receive. Imagining a retirement that matters starts here. Sign up for Ed's free, weekly newsletter at and get listings of coming episodes.
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Jun 14, 2017

020 Bill Farris—Comforting the Littlest

Children’s Hospital Needs Grandfathers to “Read”

Bill Farris is no stranger to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. In fact seven years ago he was a regular visitor to see his grandson. It was then Bill began his “reading.” Today he continues comforting children in the neo-natal intensive care unit of the same hospital by holding, rocking, reading, telling stories of his youth, and humming (no singing—just humming) to babies—a blessing to him, as well.

Bill feels this volunteer activity is his way of helping the parents and grandparents who are working and not able to be there, as well as the nurses who are continuously busy as they help all their charges. Needless to say, volunteers like Bill are a welcome addition to the care of these littlest ones.

As Bill reminds us, hospitals are everywhere and most likely readily awaiting new volunteers!

For additional information about Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and to learn more about their volunteer opportunities, visit

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