Who We Are

             For Olive Foley, there was no greater joy in life than doing something to help others. A kind, enthusiastic volunteer for The Valley Hospital, her final act of generosity came in the form of the donation of her entire estate to the hospital.

            “Olive has an inspirational story. She was so touched by her experiences at the hospital that she created a legacy gift that will benefit Valley and the patients we serve for years to come,” says Bettina Daly, Director of Gift Planning for the Valley Hospital Foundation.

            Olive grew up in Paterson as an only child. Her husband, Bill, was also a Paterson native and an only child. Shortly after he returned from serving in the military, the couple got married and bought a home in Wyckoff in the mid-1950s.Olive Foley

            Bill worked as an executive in the corporate office of A&P, while Olive went to work as a bank manager. Olive first began volunteering for Kurth Cottage at The Valley Hospital in the 1960s.

            “Bill and Olive didn’t have children, and she wanted to spend her free time doing something to help others,” explains C. Boyd Cote, PC, the Foleys’ attorney.

            Upon retiring from 40 years in the banking industry, she decided to continue spending her days volunteering in the hospital’s gift shop. Olive had fond memories of her time volunteering at Kurth Cottage, but it may ultimately have been her successful treatment for breast cancer at Valley that inspired her to do something to give back. “She was always so thankful for the level of care and treatment that the hospital gave her, and she felt she wouldn’t have led such a long, fulfilling life without The Valley Hospital,” Cote explains.

            Over the years, Olive did everything from work the cash register in the gift shop to wait tables in the hospital café. “I distinctly remember what her first application said…she had free time now, and wanted to help others,” recalls Liz Tortorella, director of volunteer resources at The Valley Hospital. “All of her references described her as a wonderful, caring person.”

            In her later years, Olive was dedicated to serving in the gift shop every Thursday afternoon. She quickly became known for her warm smile and kind, cheerful personality.

            “She loved working in the gift shop, whether it was helping a family member select something special for their loved one, or taking the opportunity to deliver flowers to a patient,” Tortorella says. She also became known for her gift-wrapping skills, and the care and attention she put into making each and every present look special.

            “Just like the café, the gift shop can be an oasis for families…and we always try to have volunteers who project a positive, warm attitude. You couldn’t help but engage with Olive, and you knew that she really loved what she was doing,” Tortorella adds.

            Olive joined a team of dozens of volunteers who donate their time to the patients and families at The Valley Hospital. Her final wish was that her entire estate be used to help support the hospital’s programs and services.

            "We are so grateful to people like her; they become a part of our family," Tortorella concludes.  "Olive was the kind of person who just loved to give without ever seeking anything in return, and we know that her generous heart and spirit will continue to live on here at Valley."