Promises Kept: Volunteer Gives 40 Years of Dedicated Service
Apr 18, 2022 Cedars-Sinai Staff
"If your father comes out of this surgery, I'm going downstairs and signing up to volunteer." It was a promise Ruthie Krivis made to her closest friend in a Cedars-Sinai waiting room 42 years ago.
The surgery was a success. Keeping her promise, Ruthie walked down to Volunteer Services that day and dedicated her life to supporting patients and families as a volunteer.
"It makes me happy," Ruthie says. "I can't believe it's 42 years. I know it is, but it's hard to imagine. It just flew by."
"I wish more people would give their time. I tell whoever I can sign up to volunteer. It's a wonderful experience and it's very, very rewarding."
Ruthie's rapport with patients and staff
The connection to the hospital was natural, because Ruthie and her three children were born at Cedars of Lebanon—the hospital's founding name. From the time of her orientation until now, she has driven over the hill from the valley to Cedars-Sinai and volunteered full days of service on the eighth floor, the seventh floor and most affectionately, in the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center—A Project of Women's Guild.
"Our patients are vulnerable, and most are anxious because of their diagnosis and journey as cancer patients," says Mirah Jane Murray, assistant nurse manager of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center. "Ruthie has been there to provide them comfort and assurance."
The employees at the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center are grateful to Ruthie for her efficiency in preparing exam rooms between patient visits.
"Over the years, Ruthie developed great rapport and meaningful friendships with our employees," Mirah says.
"Ruthie's commitment and service to the Breast Center has a positive impact in our success in providing excellent quality care to our patients."
Returning to volunteering after a pandemic hiatus
During her 42 years of volunteer service to Cedars-Sinai, Ruthie owned LA Babes, a popular children's boutique in Woodland Hills for 18 years. She enjoyed spending her time at the boutique and at the medical center.
When the pandemic hit, it was an abrupt challenge for Ruthie and many of her colleagues who looked forward to returning to volunteer work.
"It's part of their life, our life—you know, it really felt good to be back," Ruthie says.
The rewards that come with giving your time
When she isn't volunteering, Ruthie enjoys spending time with her six granddaughters, seven great-grandchildren and an eighth on the way. She also enjoys spending time with her friend who sat with her in that waiting room.
This year, Ruthie says proudly that she and her friend are celebrating 57 years of friendship. Friends and family members commend Ruthie for her commitment to volunteering often.
"I wish more people would give their time," Ruthie says. "I tell whoever I can sign up to volunteer. It's a wonderful experience and it's very, very rewarding. I'm loving it. I feel like I'm doing something to help somebody and it's a good feeling."