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Volunteering fills post-retirement void for retired paralegal

When Wichita native Judie Ellis retired seven years ago, she stayed home for six months.

That, says the former paralegal, was enough time for her to decide, "Oh, no, this is not for me."

Looking for something meaningful to do with her time, she began volunteering at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, rounding on hospitalized patients to get feedback about their stay.

It was just what the now-76-year-old great-grandmother needed.

"Once you're involved, you're hooked," says Judie, who is just shy of 2,500 volunteer hours.

Those hours have been spent putting her time and talents to use in a variety of ways. For example, she's lent a hand at its Child Development Center. She's been an information resource for families in the Surgery Waiting Room. She's helped with the art therapy activities offered to patients on the 7th-floor dedicated cancer unit.

Currently, she greets patients and visitors at the hospital's information desk on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons and has just started helping out at the volunteer-run Flower and Gift Shop at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph.

Additionally, she'll complete the first year of her two-year term as president-elect for Ascension Via Christi Volunteers' Partners in Caring group in June and begin her term as its president in June 2021.

Says Judie: "I really love being a volunteer. Making someone smile and being told thank you for helping me is priceless."

Want to join Judie in volunteering at Ascension Via Christi? Go to

About Roz Hutchinson

Roz Hutchinson is a Wichita wife, mother and chief spoiler of six grandkids and three Chihuahuas, a die-hard women's basketball fan, and director of Communications and Public Relations for Ascension Via Christi.