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by Abigail Van Buren

Hospital Cards Find Right Room if They're Properly Addressed

DEAR ABBY: I am an 82-year-old volunteer at one of our finest hospitals. Over a period of 45 years, I have accumulated 16,300 hours of service. I am enclosing a letter I clipped from a column you wrote in 1979. Please run it again. It would be extremely helpful to all who volunteer their services in hospitals and nursing homes.

Thanking you in advance, I am ... MRS. EDNA S. GREENBERG, TYLER, TEXAS

DEAR MRS. GREENBERG: Congratulations for the number of hours you have served as a hospital volunteer. And thank you for the item you saved from my column. I agree, it's worth a rerun, and here it is:

DEAR ABBY: Do you want to do the hospital volunteers a big favor? Please tell your readers that mail addressed to "Buzz" Jackson, "Skip" Jones or "Tootsie" Brown will probably not be delivered to patients in a hospital.

Nicknames are not recorded on hospital records. The patients are registered under their legal names (first, middle and last). We have no idea who "Liz," "Corky," "Red" or "Junior" is.

Yesterday I looked for "Al Johnson" and found none. However, I did find a "Henry Alvin Johnson." I later learned that the patient called himself "Al" so he wouldn't be confused with his father, who was called "Henry."

So, please print this, Abby. I could cry every time I see a stack of mail that can't be delivered because it is improperly addressed.

And wouldn't you know, the sender never puts a return address on the envelope, either! -- FRUSTRATED IN PHOENIX

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I'll pass the word. I hope it helps.