TODAY Gives Back: Al helps a hospital close to home

May 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM ET

Al Roker /

TODAY Gives Back features the charity and volunteer work of TODAY anchors.

This week we speak with TODAY’s Al Roker, who works with Calvary Hospital in New York City. Calvary Hospital got its start from volunteers in 1899 in Greenwich Village. It moved to the Bronx in 1915, where it's been ever since helping those dying of cancer. They offer patients and their family complete medical assistance as well as spiritual and psychological guidance so that they may maintain their dignity while entering the final stages of their life.

allDAY's Giacinta Pace interviewed Al so he could explain his involvement with this cause.

What kind of work do you do with Calvary Hospital?

I basically help them with their fundraiser [that] I’ve MC’d [for] the past several years. I’ve done radio commercials for them.

How did you get involved with Calvary Hospital?

Well, about nine years ago my Dad was there in the late stages of lung cancer and I was just impressed with what they did. How they treated [not only] the patient, but the whole family. ... It’s a very nurturing place. This is a place you can go when there is nothing more that can be done for you. They manage your comfort, your pain levels and things like that.

Have you had any memorable experiences while working with this charity?

I have people come up to me and they say, “I heard your commercial on the radio and it answered some questions for me. It gave me some hope as to where to bring my mother or my father.” I find that very gratifying.

Is there anything else you would like to add about this charity?

They do God’s work on earth. In one sense it’s one of the most horrible times in your life, because someone you love and care about is dying. But, on the other hand, it’s very gratifying to know that there are people out there who care.

Find more stories about how TODAY anchors give back here