Pearl Spies and Judie Louden celebrated for donating combined 25,000 hours

At the December 2018 Memorial Hospital Auxiliary meeting, Mark J. Turner, president, Memorial Regional Health Services, presented Auxilians Pearl Spies and Judie Louden with Service Hour Award Pins for the amazing number of hours they’ve donated to the hospitals.

Spies has volunteered more than 16,000 hours for the Auxiliary, and Louden has given more than 9,000 hours. 

Spies here from the start

A charter member of the Auxiliary, Spies helped raise money for Memorial Hospital Belleville to be built by canvassing the community for donations.

She recalls visiting one home that was called on previously, but no one was home on those visits. So Spies went alone, although it violated the fundraising procedures. When the owner answered the door they said, “We didn’t think anyone was going to come!” They then went straight to their cupboard and got out a creamer container that had money stashed inside for the hospital. This experience taught her something: “People generally will give or participate when asked personally, and never take things for granted or assume people won’t help.”

Spies has served as president and chairperson for various committees with the Auxiliary, and she has been involved with almost every Book Bazaar since its inception in 1958. 

For those looking for volunteer opportunities, Spies has excellent advice. “Get involved as much as your time and energy will allow. You can over commit, and it’s a balancing act of what is best for you, family, and community,” she said. “Learn about the various opportunities. You think about how you are helping others but sometimes forget how you have been helped.”

Volunteerism always important to Louden

Even as a child, Louden was taught the value of volunteering her time. The roles she has had with the Auxiliary have ranged from starting a clown therapy program—which lasted 21 years—to serving as
president two different terms. She also started a Youth Health Fair that had more than 30,000 students participate through the years.

In addition to her service at Memorial, Louden also volunteers at Programs and Services for Older Persons, fundraises for TreeHouse Wildlife Center, and collects stuffed animals for Children’s Advocacy Center.

“Anyone can write a check; but by giving of yourself and doing for others, there’s a greater sense of purpose,” Louden said. “I have never given to benefit myself, but volunteering gives me energy and a sense of purpose. It has made me a better wife, mother, friend, and person.”

Her recommendations for anyone considering volunteering are to explore what opportunities are available and go for what seems like a comfortable fit, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and try something new.

Become an auxilian 

To become a Memorial Hospital Auxiliary member, call (618) 257-5545 or e-mail and request an application.