Great River Friends

Love Tree 2018

Loved ones are remembered and honored each year through the Great River Friends’ Love Tree program. With donations of $25 or more, ornaments accompanied by their names will be placed on donors’ choices of three trees.

Love Tree locations:

  • Great River Medical Center lobby
  • Great River Hospice House
  • Great River Klein Center

All Love Tree proceeds benefit Great River Friends’ Scholarship Program. Each year, up to $10,000 is awarded to area residents pursuing health care careers. It includes high school seniors, current college students and Southeastern Community College students.

Love Tree Celebration Ceremony

10 a.m.

Thursday, Dec. 20

Mercy Plaza lobby

Donors are invited to celebrate their loved ones through prayer, reading of the names, presentation of ornaments and refreshments.

Love Tree Order Form

Hospital Volunteers

volunteers outside all putting their hands together

Great River Friends is a community of more than 700 volunteers and financial contributors that supports Great River Health System through gifts of time, talent and treasure. It consists of two parts:

Volunteer Services

A health system department that recruits, trains and schedules volunteers.

Coordinator: Michelle McGraw, (319) 768-3340,

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Volunteer roles depend on availability, experience, interests and skills.

Public and behind-the-scenes opportunities are available:

  • Clerical support
  • Great River Gift Shop
  • Great River Hospice
  • Great River Klein Center
  • Health fairs
  • Patient and visitor escorts
  • Patient and visitor greeters
  • Patient mail and balloon delivery
  • Senior Health Insurance Information Programs
  • Virtual volunteers (crocheting or knitting baby hats, prayer shawls and afghans for elders; sewing quilts for Great River Cancer Center and Great River Hospice patients)

Reasons for volunteering

Volunteers have many reasons for sharing their time with Great River Health System:

  • Desire to give back to their community
  • Exposure to health care careers
  • Job experience
  • Requirement for academic achievement and recognition programs
  • Sharing knowledge and experience with others
  • Social needs
  • Staying active

Benefits of volunteering include:

  • Challenge – Volunteers build, sharpen and share their skills
  • Discounts – 20 percent at Great River Gift Shop, employee discount in the Cafeteria
  • Fitness and health – Flu shots, Great River Health System Fitness membership (must have 160 hours of service a year)
  • Friendships – Connect with other volunteers and health system staff
  • Meals – Free meal coupon when volunteering at least four hours in one day
  • Recognition and fun – Annual recognition party; Great River Health System holiday dinner
  • Reward – The satisfaction of knowing you are truly helping patients, families, visitors and staff is the most common reward shared by our volunteers.

Great River Friends Board of Directors

An independent organization that raises money for health care scholarships and services that enhance patient care

Ongoing fundraisers include:

  • Annual Giving Campaign
  • Book and gift fairs
  • Great River Gift Shop
  • Jewelry fairs
  • Love Tree

If you are interested in serving on the board, please contact a board member, or call or email Volunteer Services at (319) 768-3340 or


  • Joyce Vance, president
  • Carolyn Breder, vice president
  • Donna Logan, secretary
  • Michele Dyer, treasurer


  • Michelle AbouAssaly
  • Lindsay Fruehling
  • Jack Hayes
  • Kendra Jahn
  • Lindsay Knudson
  • Sarah O'Neill
  • Pat Schardt
  • Joyce Taeger
  • Francesca To
  • Maryann Werner
  • Corky Wolbert

Ex-officio members

  • Jim Kammerer, vice president of support services, Great River Health System
  • Michelle McGraw, coordinator, Volunteer Services
  • Lori Mercer, manager, Great River Gift Shop