Volunteering is a Family Affair

It is a small square photograph that looks a lot like an old discolored Polaroid. But the image captured is precious and makes Margaret Whelan smile every time she looks at it. Taken on Christmas Day 1957, the picture is of Margaret’s mom, Peg Whelan, at the hospital.

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Christmas Day 1957

Margaret had no idea that her mom, so many years ago, had done something that Margaret, herself, has now been doing for the last two-and-a-half years. Margaret is one of the many great volunteers at CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, and spends her volunteer hours at the CHRISTUS Breast Center where she is part of a dedicated team offering comfort and care to patients who come to the center often worried about the outcome of the exam or that something might be wrong.

It was when Margaret found the old picture of her mom that she realized her mother had also volunteered at the same ministry and was part of the same mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. In the treasured photo, Peg Whelan is shown sitting under the statue at Schumpert Medical Center wearing the same shade of pink uniform Margaret now wears twice a week during her days helping patients.

Margaret now thinks back and believes she was most likely away at college or maybe even the convent when her mom spent time volunteering at Schumpert.

“It makes me smile thinking about mom and the connection with the pink ladies,” said Margaret.

Margaret has a great background in Shreveport, La. Retired from teaching after a number of years she suddenly found she had a lot of time on her hands.  She was well acquainted with many of the Sisters as she had spent nearly two decades in a convent.

“I left the Sisterhood, but kept teaching,” said Margaret.

The last six years Margaret spent at St. Joseph’s as the Assistant Principal and so when she finally decided to retire she also decided she wanted to remain connected with others.

“I interviewed, trained, got my pink uniform and took it from there.”

Margaret just celebrated her volunteer service with receiving a 500 hours badge.

“The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” explained Margaret with a chuckle. “My mom would be proud but also would expect it. People, my mom believed, are meant to give back to their community.”

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Picture of Margaret Whelan following in her mother’s footsteps