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92-year-old enters 60th year as Fairview Hospital volunteer

Emma Kozar has spent more than half a century helping people get around Fairview Hospital, or making them feel at home.

CLEVELAND — Emma Kozar has walked the halls of Fairview Hospital since 1959. At 92 years old, she's one the hospital's longest standing volunteers.

She says volunteering is her calling, and she's done everything from serving up snacks to making patients feel at home during their time of need.

“I started in the snack bar, they used to have a snack bar, and we made hamburgers, hot dogs and delicious shakes," Emma said. “We had a cart that we’d deliver. We had candy and magazines and books on there, and we’d go around on each floor and sell this candy.”

After some training, Emma moved onto patient floors.

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"They call it ‘hour of sleep care’ and we would give back rubs and change their little bags on nightstands," Emma said. 

She's also seen tender moments and the circle of life through the decades.

“I’ve enjoyed when we went onto the floors, and we used to take the babies to the mothers," she said. “That was, that was just great. They were these tiny little infants.”

Credit: Submitted
Emma Kozar

Emma has had other jobs as well, but it's volunteering that brings her the most fulfillment.

“I just enjoy being here because the people are wonderful and I feel like I’m doing something. I always wanted to do it," Emma said.

As a mother of three, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, and a widow, Emma has been supported by her family, and comforted by her work.

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"Makes you a better person," Emma said.

If you're ever at this hospital, you can count on a warm greeting, and meticulous directions from this very dedicated lady.

And, she has no plans to stop for now ... it's her life's work.

“It’s so rewarding. You get more out of it than I think we give," Emma said. “You go home with a good feeling as you walk out that door, to your car, and you just say, ‘oh, thank you, God.'”