Bea Brown knew that volunteering would help her meet people, but she didn’t know that it also would open up a door to one of her passions in life.
She and her husband, Jim, moved to Appleton from International Falls, Minn., in 2016 to be closer to their son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who live in Darboy.
“That was the best move we ever made, to move closer to our grandchildren and watch them grow,” she said. “I get more ‘I love you’ and hugs and kisses than I ever got back home!”
Aside from their family, she did not know anyone else in the Fox Cities. Bea was an RSVP member in Minnesota, so she contacted Volunteer Fox Cities to become a member here and to find volunteer opportunities.
She decided to volunteer at Ascension Northeast Wisconsin-St. Elizabeth Campus. Brown is among 26 RSVP volunteers who served 1,889 hours in area hospitals last year. She eventually started driving the hospital’s courtesy cart to transport patients and visitors to their destinations in the hospital.
One day when she was at the hospital as a visitor, a nurse asked her how she was doing. Brown told the nurse that she would feel better if she knew someone who would golf with her.
“So they got me on as a sub on St. Elizabeth’s league!” she said. “I subbed one year and at the end of golfing in 2017, Jeannie asked me if I would partner with her, so I am a regular now!”
She loves her volunteer role at Ascension St. Elizabeth and volunteers on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon and is happy to say that she knows everyone who volunteers at the hospital on Thursdays.