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Meet Janet Bass-Eddington - Gift Shop volunteer with a listening ear

September 16, 2016
Janet in Gift Shop

“I love people. I meet so many of them in the Gift Shop, some of whom I already know in the community. And, I just love working with the girls here,” says Janet about her co-workers in The Marketplace at Baystate.

Janet sees people passing through the gift shop who are going through a lot in life, and what makes her a perfect fit for the job is that she always has a listening ear.

Janet began volunteering at Baystate Medical Center about seven years ago since retiring after 22 years from Monsanto in Chicopee.

Keeping active after retirement

“I needed something to do after retiring,” says the former administrative assistant, “and I thought volunteering would be something that would keep me busy.”

“There are so many stories I could share about working in the gift shop. Many people who come in to shop often want to start a conversation and talk a bit. I listen and help them the best I can, offering tips for picking the right present for someone in the hospital. Oftentimes people also ask me for directions,” says Janet.

Janet is also an active member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Springfield, where she sits on the Usher Board, serving as the secretary, and helped out this summer as a volunteer in the church’s Summer Meal Site program.

A born shopper

When she isn’t volunteering, Janet, who was widowed seven years ago, loves spending time with her daughter Essence.

“I love bowling, traveling, and just keeping busy on the weekends,” says Janet, who noted her favorite place to shop is J.C. Penny and Macy's.

Asked if she wanted to share her age with everyone, Janet laughed and politely said, “No!”