When their story is told, it’s clear why Maynard and Eleanor Gregory received a 2021 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for their service at Bayhealth. Extremely active in their community, Maynard and Eleanor strive to make others a priority in their lives.
Eleanor attended college in Texas while Maynard attended college in Boston. They met each other in Boston at a singles social group. It only took three weeks to decide that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Eleanor said, “You know good when you know good.” They have been married now for 43 years.
The Gregorys have one daughter, Linda. She is married and currently lives overseas with her family. Maynard and Eleanor adore being called “BaBa” and “Elma” by their three grandchildren.
Maynard and Eleanor are incredible stewards of their time. Talented in sewing, Eleanor stitched masks for those who needed them during COVID. They serve as volunteers at their church and with a Delaware Valley organization that provides transitional housing for veterans, honoring her father who was a POW and veteran of World War II. These are just a handful of the ways they serve. The Gregorys truly enjoy fulfilling the needs of others with their time and talents.
At Bayhealth, the Gregorys serve in a unique capacity. Maynard, a retired addictions counselor, and Eleanor, a retired occupational therapist, use their honed professional skills now as volunteers. Working with people has always been the highlight of their occupations. They no longer need to worry about all the extra responsibility and requirements of a profession. Eleanor delighted in sharing about volunteering, “This is the best part of my career so far.”
Eleanor volunteers on the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus, with the goal of bringing patients joy. Among the many ways she helps, her signature is fashioning walker bags or adult dining covers for patients on the spot. “I always had fun with my patients,” Eleanor recalled of her former days working as an OT, and it still rings true today in her volunteer work.
Maynard, with his background in counseling, volunteers by calling daily to check on patients in isolation. He has seen how caring for them in this way and providing a listening ear has been impactful to everyone involved. Maynard said, “There is nothing better in all the world than being able to do that for people.” It really helps him put life into perspective when he has the chance to hear what patients are going through. He is also able to ask if they need anything and provide comfort items acquired through the Bayhealth Amazon Smile account and donations. It’s a wonderful way to connect patients with resources that meet both their physical and emotional needs.
Maynard and Eleanor have adopted the posture of being “representatives of kindness.” It radiates in their volunteer work, relationships and life.
The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards, administered by the State Office of Volunteerism, honor the contributions of individuals and groups in Delaware that have made a positive impact in their communities or across the state through service and volunteering.
“We are so proud to live in Delaware,” said Eleanor and Maynard, who have spent 29 of their married years in Milford. “Our favorite thing is volunteering at the hospital.”
Bayhealth is now accepting applications for new volunteers and welcoming volunteers back to the hospital. Visit Bayhealth.org/Volunteer to learn more.