By Kristal Coats, Gift Shop & Fundraising Coordinator, and Laura Hensel, Coordinator
Sisters, Susan, and Barb, have something more in common than being siblings. They are both Ascension Wisconsin volunteers. They volunteer just across the lake from each other. Susan at Ascension Calumet Hospital and Barb at Ascension NE Wisconsin - Mercy Campus. Susan (the oldest) and Barb (the second oldest) grew up in Chilton in a family of eight children. They lived on Brooklyn Street close to the hospital. Barb and Susan are one and a half years apart in age and are very close.
Susan has been volunteering with Ascension Calumet for over 10 years. Before being recruited by volunteer Ann Korb, Sue had heard about the Calumet Hospital Auxiliary and hospital volunteering through several different organizations. Currently, she volunteers in the Gift Shop and also within the community at Homestead in New Holstein. She volunteered in transport in the past and has also helped with Auxiliary fundraisers.
When Sue was asked what two words she would use to describe herself, she responded with “people person.” Sue loves being around people and talking to the locals who find themselves visiting the hospital. In the Gift Shop, Sue helps customers pick out items, make purchases, and helps keep the shop neat and tidy. Sue states, “Volunteering is not a hard job, it’s good for you and the patients.”
Outside of volunteering, Sue enjoys being around animals and doing yardwork. When asked what her plans for the future were, Sue responded “stay healthy.”
Barb has been volunteering at Ascension Mercy since 2017 when she became interested in volunteering as a Eucharistic Minister distributing “holy communion” to patients. In addition, she volunteers at the Reception Desk.
Barb says, “I look forward to Monday mornings and working with people, being busy and doing worthwhile volunteer work. I enjoy the gratitude I receive from people I escort to various areas of the hospital. Also, I get at least 10,000 steps each shift.”
As a teenager, Barb would walk to Calumet Hospital to work. Barb worked as a RN at Mercy Hospital for 33 years. She fondly recalls, “As a nurse, I loved being part of a team. My co-workers helped me personally and professionally.”
In her spare time, Barb is an avid quilter, reader and volunteers preparing dinners for funerals at St. Raphael Church. Barb also has a passion for traveling! She is planning a spring trip to Peru and will visit Machu Picchu with her daughter. Her future plans are to continue to travel, “I am a good walker and I want to enjoy traveling while I can.”
We appreciate both Susan and Barb for their giving personalities and people skills. Traits they were brought up with and are willing to share at both Ascension Calumet and Ascension Mercy.
Meet Eileen Keuler
By Kristal Coats, Volunteer Coordinator
Eileen started volunteering at Ascension Calumet Hospital in 2002 after she suddenly found herself without a job. After talking with some of the volunteers, she decided to volunteer instead of looking for another job and she soon found that it would be something she would love to do. After 20 years she has continued to volunteer in multiple areas.
Eileen currently volunteers as a Eucharistic Minister and also in the gift shop. As a Eucharistic Minister she delivers Catholic prayers to patients. Eileen is very people oriented which allows her to excel in these volunteer areas; making sure each patient or guest is taken care of. She has also served as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Calumet Auxiliary for several years now.
Outside of Ascension, Eileen volunteers at her local Church and for senior meals. Eileen also loves to quilt, read, and put together puzzles in her free time.
What Eileen loves most about volunteering is meeting people and helping others. Eileen states, "We do a lot of helping others- it gives you satisfaction that you've done something good for the community." Through her volunteer work, Eileen has gained several friendships and some memorable experiences- such as the time when a tornado touched down in a town nearby and the hospital had to go on an actual tornado lockdown drill. When asked what her plans for the future were, Eileen responded "live day to day."