The Joy of Serving

For Judy Kelley, it was a long-time goal fulfilled. “I knew when I retired it was something I wanted to do,” Kelley says. “I was born at St. John (Medical Center) and I just felt like it was a calling I had – to help people.”

No, Kelley, who retired from her job with MetLife, did not go back to medical school to become a doctor.  She became a volunteer. With more than 2,000 service hours under her belt, Kelley, a volunteer since 2009, has definitely made an impact.

“I started out helping in Surgical Waiting at St. John Medical Center,” Kelley says. “I enjoyed being able to visit with people and share the Lord with them.”

Kelley has since transferred to St. John Broken Arrow, where you can usually find her manning the Gift Shop.  She serves about one day a week, or 30 to 40 hours each month. She is one of St. John’s more than 300 auxiliary members who serve in one or more of St. John’s hospitals.

“Our volunteers are no doubt the lifeblood of the day-to-day operations at all of our hospitals,” says Rebecca Ridenour, director of volunteer services for St. John. “They serve at reception and flower desks, gift shops, surgical waiting rooms, with pastoral care or on patient floors.”

The profits they raise through gift shop sales support many hospital initiatives too.

Founded in 1951 by a group of 12 women, the St. John Auxiliary has contributed more than 2.5 million hours of volunteer service and raised more than $5 million for hospital equipment and furnishings. Among the beneficiaries are St. John patients, who for more than half a century have been greeted by warm smiles and compassion from the women and men in pink and blue.

The Auxiliary is always looking for new members to join their team. To anyone considering the opportunity, Kelley says: “We can use you. This is great place. You really are fulfilled, that’s just my experience.”

For more information on volunteer opportunities with St. John, visit or call 918-744-2198.

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