MANITOWOC — Judy Shallue credits her Catholic elementary school education and her parents for instilling in her the desire to help others.
“Helping people and going to Mass make me feel closer to God,” Shallue said.
She recalled how she and her sister affectionately called their mother “the church lady” because she was always helping out at church. She also made sure her family attended Mass regularly.
“We had good parents and they were always helping people. I was the oldest child and started helping my siblings at a young age,” said Shallue, the first of Oriet and Gregory “Bud” Reindl’s four children.
“My dad was a volunteer firefighter for the Silver Creek Fire Department for many years and was, at one time, assistant chief,” she said.
“I always say God put me on this earth to help people. First, I helped my siblings, then my kids and grandkids, and I’m still helping people,” said Shallue. She has volunteered more than 3,100 hours at Holy Family Memorial (HFM) since 2016.
Shallue and Patrick, her husband of 56 years, have three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Her younger brother, who began volunteering at the hospital before she did, got her interested in following in his footsteps. “He thought I would enjoy it,” Shallue said. “He was right. One hundred percent.”
Three to four mornings a week, Shallue dons her dark green hospital smock and greets patients and visitors at the hospital’s front desk. She screens people for COVID-19, passes out masks, answers the phones, calls out room numbers where wheelchairs are required and makes sure people get where they need to go.
Shallue credits her 34 years of working at Ace Hardware for helping her develop good customer service skills.
“She’s got a very positive personality, always smiling, always laughing,” said Susan Senglaub, HFM director of volunteer services.
“Judy is very attentive and compassionate to those who come in our doors, making sure their needs are met. She brings such a caring attitude. This just makes her such a perfect person for this position. She has heart,” added Senglaub.
Shallue said she missed volunteering during COVID restrictions and was one of the first to return to HFM when restrictions were lifted for volunteers. “You miss coming. You miss the people you work with. You miss the patients who come in. You’re so used to doing it, you miss it when you’re not,” said Shallue, who also helped with the COVID vaccination clinics, greeting and screening people who attended.
In the five years that she has been volunteering at HFM, Shallue said she has made friends with other volunteers and gotten to know the patients.
“People are always thankful for your help,” she said. “They stop and thank you. Sometimes they bring little treats. Things like that to make us feel appreciated. … We’d see patients two or three times a week and then you wouldn’t see them and you’d wonder if they’re OK. You’re concerned about them, and then when they do return, you’re happy to see them,” Shallue said.
“She’s always willing to come in extra to help. She sees the need and she fills it,” Senglaub said. “She has a good pulse on the day-to-day operations here at HFM. She’s able to get the people to the right place quickly and she can think on her feet.”
HFM has about 220 active volunteers who typically donate more than 40,000 hours per year.
“Our volunteers play such a critical part of our day-to-day operations. They work in various roles in our network. They’re here to serve our patients. They’re here to help HFM employees,” Senglaub said. “Judy is one of the many fabulous volunteers. We’re incredibly blessed to have her. They see Judy as a volunteer leader.”
Name: Judy Shallue
Favorite saint: St. Joseph
Parish: St. Francis of Assisi, Manitowoc
Words to live by: “All the time, God is good. God is good all the time. It is in his nature.” (A favorite saying passed on by a deacon in her church.)