Volunteer Spotlights-Kathy Noland & Maria Stuckenborg
Kathy Noland & Maria Stuckenborg
Volunteering at Lourdes Mercy Health
Volunteering can be a great way to meet people and learn valuable skills. That’s why we’re spotlighting Kathy Noland & Maria Stuckenborg, two RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers who have found a way to make an impact in their community.
Kathy Noland moved to Kentucky from the Virgin Islands several years ago. Before becoming a volunteer at Lourdes Mercy Health, she had her own business, bookkeeping and tax services. After moving to Kentucky, Noland became enthusiastic about volunteering and began looking for volunteer opportunities that match her interests through the RSVP Program at the Paducah Senior Center. “When you reach a certain age, you need the outside experience with connection to other people,” says Noland.
In December of 1999, Noland was drawn to a volunteer opportunity with Lourdes Mercy Health at the Front Information Desk. Her role involves answering phones and helping people find where they need to go. Lourdes Hospital serves as a regional referral center for a wide geographic region, including more than a dozen counties in western Kentucky, southern Illinois, southeast Missouri, and northwest Tennessee. Lourdes offers an extensive array of medical specialties and technologies.
Noland describes her work as meaningful and fun in that she has to do “detective work” for some of the visitors who come to her. “Many times they don’t know who their doctor is, where they need to go and why they are there,” she says. She also likes to make them smile as most people who are at the hospital are there for tests, appointments, and visiting loved ones. What she has learned about herself and about others while volunteering at Lourdes, is “Things are not always as they appear and she needs to work on her patience”, she says with a laugh.
Noland says that she is happy that this volunteer opportunity counts toward the RSVP Program. She says, “Do not volunteer, unless you are dedicated.” She explains that she takes the RSVP program seriously and is dedicated to volunteering and making a difference.
When she is not volunteering she enjoys reading, cooking and baking, visiting with family, swimming, and playing golf. She reflects positively on her experience with Lourdes Hospital, “I love making people smile and laugh, it fulfills a calling of helping other people,” adds Noland.
Maria Stuckenborg shares a similar experience. Stuckenborg has been volunteering with Lourdes Hospital for 11 years. She is a Paducah native and worked at St. Mary Elementary School as the school secretary for 29 years. She says it’s important to her to volunteer at Lourdes because she feels like she is helping and she enjoys meeting new people. She recalls one experience, when a patient came in early for an appointment and suffered a heart attack in front of the Information Desk where she was stationed. She acted quickly and immediately helped transfer him to the ER, where unfortunately, he passed away. After the ordeal, his son approached her and thanked her for her help and said he appreciated what she had done for his father.
Stuckenborg says she has learned to be patient, understanding, and not to judge people by their outward appearances. “Volunteering improves your outlook. It encourages the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”,” she says. Her experience at Lourdes has been “Enjoyable, helpful, and fun-loving,” she adds. It adds another element to her life that already includes spending time with her kids and grand-kids, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
If you are a senior and looking to make an impact in your community, find a volunteer opportunity to empower yourself — and others — at http://rsvpofpaducah.org/or call 270-442-8993.