New Jersey hospital celebrates volunteer's 100th birthday

HACKENSACK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A hospital in New Jersey is celebrating the retirement and milestone birthday of one of their volunteers.

Irene Minick won't officially turn 100 until September, but Hackensack University Medical Center held an early celebration for her on Thursday.

Minick started volunteering at the hospital 30 years ago after she retired as a bookkeeper for a dry cleaning company.

She lived close to the hospital and walked into the hospital one day looking to help -- and ended up spending the next 30 years lending her sweet touch to multiple departments and countless patients.

"Everything has been just great, you don't like to see people that are ill, but what you can do is just precious, it's wonderful," Minick said. "I've loved every single minute of it."

Minick says people who don't volunteer are missing out on something tremendous. She has an impressive stamina and her philosophy is pretty simple.

"Where you're needed, that's where you go," she said.

Her friends and colleagues at the hospital said they will miss her greatly and she is like a mother to them.

"She is sharp as a tack at 100, it's unbelievable, but it's because she reads, does puzzles and stays active," colleague Carol Lamendola said.

She has two children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and says she will keep herself busy and will continue to volunteer at an independent living community.

She will officially become a centenarian on Sept. 17. Happy birthday, Irene!

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