As a volunteer in the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center gift shop, Judy Hsu sees customers at their highest and lowest – new grandparents meeting the latest in a new generation, family members keeping vigil over a loved one.
Hsu sees hospital employees on especially tough days, or others who stop by to chat as they browse through the latest treasures. She’s friendly, personable and helpful – and does this all as a labor of love.
For her dedication, support and hard work for 13 years, Hsu on Thursday received the Volunteer Mission Spirit Award Winner for 2017 during the hospital’s annual volunteer recognition lunch. Since Hsu joined Holy Cross in 2014, she has volunteered more than 3,000 hours in the gift shop.
“Judy truly exemplifies our values and the Providence mission of outreach to the poor and vulnerable in the work she has been doing for so many years,” said Pamela Wegner, the Mission Hills hospital’s director of volunteers. “She welcomes our visitors at their most vulnerable times, comforts them and helps them choose gifts for loved ones.”
Hsu was chosen from the more than 500 volunteers who work across the hospital, and who last year donated a total of 54,036 hours. They visit patients, handle clerical chores, provide pet therapy, work the front desk – the list of tasks is endless and is worth millions of dollars each year to the not-for-profit hospital.
Nurse educator Terri Gately nominated Hsu, whom she frequently visits in the gift shop during breaks.
“She’s a people person,” said Gately, a 27-year employee. “She’s the kind of person you need in that position. Judy has a kind heart and she’s so friendly. She exemplifies our values and is really an important tie to our community.”
Hsu carries special treats from home and shares with other volunteers and friends as she makes her way around the hospital. And, Wegner said, she is happy to pitch in whenever needed, filling in for those on vacation and helping at special events.