Volunteer Spotlight: Judy Thibert

Name: Judy Thibert

How long have you been a volunteer?
Almost three years.

What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient care in the Care Center, events, ice cream socials, and gardening.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I’ve always volunteered. My kids are adopted, they’re from Korea, and when my daughter came home the social worker asked if I wanted to volunteer through the adoption agency. When babies would come home I would go out to the airport and get them off the plane and deliver them to the parents. So that’s where I started. I did that up until 2011. Then after that I did a lot with my kids after school.

Then as they got older it kind of dropped off and then my parents got sick and my dad had dementia. For two-and-a-half years we had aides in the house and they were godsends. I mean, I don’t know what we would have done without them. And seeing them and how much I appreciated them I thought, when I have time again – because I didn’t volunteer at that time – I said, this is what I want to do. It’s kind of like paying it forward. And I know how much the family appreciates people…I knew how much I appreciated them.

Judy can be found working in many areas,
including our ice cream socials.
Why Angela Hospice?
My dad was here. They were in the house for two months and then he came to the Care Center for four months.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Working with the families and the patients, and getting to meet different people.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
My hands are always cold and you’ll get some patients that like to hold your hands. There was this one patient I went in to see and she didn’t talk much. She was pretty subdued and quiet. Every once in a while she’d wake up and look up at me; she wanted to hold my hand. I hardly ever heard her talk but she took my hand one day and held it, and her eyes got real big and she looks at me and goes, “Your hands are cold!” And it was like, well you do talk! It was kind of surprising.

It’s just those kinds [of moments]. We had one patient, she reminded me of my grandmother, and I’d go in and I’d sit with her. And again, she’d just take my hands and hold them and say, “Your hands are so cold.” I’d go, “I know that’s why I come in and sit with you so you can warm my hands up.” And she would. She’d just sit there and rub my hands. It was very sweet.

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