Despite COVID-19 outbreaks and being vulnerable to the virus, Vivian Murray did not hesitate to answer the call for help from a short-staffed hospital amidst the pandemic. She came out of retirement after 50 years of service to support the nurses at Sinai Grace Hospital during a profoundly stressful time. The hospital welcomed her return because of her unparalleled expertise, kind spirit, and team player approach.
At 78, she took the risk to work as a surgical nurse alongside the frontline nurses to help with much-needed lunch and energy break relief as they fought an enormous uphill battle against the Coronavirus. Although she worked tirelessly in partnership with her co-workers, she found time to mentor a group of teenage girls at her church and encouraged them to help her organize a successful appreciation lunch for the hospital’s essential workers.
Vivian has lived a long life serving others. In 1968, she began serving as a Girl Scout leader when her daughters were old enough to join a troop. Today, many adult women hold her in high esteem because her giving spirit graced them as their troop leader. Vivian serves on her church’s Health Task Force and, for over 20 years, has donated her time and nursing knowledge on the first Sunday of each month to check the congregation’s vital signs. Sharing her time and talent with her church extends beyond nursing and includes civic engagement activities such as voter engagement and completing the census. Additionally, Vivian has served the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for 20 years as a volunteer board member and for over 20 years with the Red Hat Society. Also, was a key volunteer with Wayne Metro Community Action Agency in signing up hundreds of vulnerable Wayne County residents for health care through the Affordable Care Act.
Annually around Christmastime, Vivian and her youngest daughter adopt a family through “My Sister’s Pink Journey,” an organization that gives to minority women going through breast cancer treatment and their families. Some of her volunteer experience with the organization include giving toys to children in shelters and donating toiletry-filled purses to women’s shelters. Amazingly, last year, during Christmastime, she learned that a co-worker needed support when she was unexpectedly faced with housing her sister and her eleven children. Vivian went straight into the action by adopting two of the children and solicited others to shop for the family, creating a magical Christmas holiday for the entire family.
“I get self-satisfaction when I make others happy,” she said. “It makes me feel prosperous in doing what is right.”