Volunteer of the Year
Betty Riebe has been named the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center's 2013 Volunteer of the Year.
Betty has several special connections to St. Joseph. She was born at the Medical Center ("some 150 years ago," she jokes), had four of her five daughters there, has held positions with the St. Joseph Auxiliary and is the sister of the Medical Center's Vice President of Mission, Sr. Pat Rosholt.
Betty started volunteering at the Medical Center in 1995 and worked more than 1,000 hours at the Gift Shop. She currently volunteers every other Sunday in the Gift Shop, serves as the Auxiliary Board treasurer, works on special projects and events and is always willing to lend a hand whenever she is asked.
Betty’s volunteer activities are equally as impressive outside the Medical Center. For over 50 years, she coordinated the St. Stanislaus and All Saints Catholic Church Bazaar and for the past 25 years coordinated the church community dinner. She also volunteers on the liturgy and Lazarus committees, at St. Vincent de Paul, Christmas Connection and serves a the secretary of the St. Mary’s League. If you were to ask Betty about her volunteering, she would most like respond by saying, “I’m just an ordinary person who likes to do ordinary things”.
Betty brings her compassion and concern for others with her wherever she is volunteering. Whether she’s selling lovely items out of our Medical Center’s gift shop or finding something for someone in need at St. Vincent’s Thrift Store, she’s always helpful and caring. She’s respectful of every person. If she learns that a patient would like a newspaper, she’ll see that he or she gets one. If a patient doesn’t have family members or friends that are able to visit, she’ll be their visitor. If you happen to be a friend of hers, know that she’ll always be there for you. But, even if you aren’t… she’s still there for you.
Participating in the Lazarus Group in her parish church is one of her many volunteer activities. In this role, she meets and works with families when a loved one has died. She’s very compassionate and helps the family prepare for both funeral and burial services. She involves the members of the family and close friends in the services and insures that they are able to participate as much as they would like. It might be as simple as helping them find the right scriptural passage or planning the whole funeral service. She also insures that a reception or luncheon is available following the services if the family would like that. This is always a meaningful time and she’s always sensitive to those who don’t have the resources for these services. Everyone is the recipient of her assistance and compassion.
Lest one think that Betty has little to do in her spare time, she and her husband have five daughters, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Just remembering all of their special days could be a full time job! But, she manages to also remember all of her Godchildren, friends, and siblings and their families!
While she doesn’t have gold bars to share, she definitely will always give of her time and talents to help others and never seems to think that she’s given enough. How fortunate we are to be one of the organizations that she has chosen to support.
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