Written by: Rita Jury, Nurse Administrator
Jim Hubert, a registered nurse educator and wound care specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System Oakridge in Osseo, Wisconsin, celebrates life by giving. Even before he became a nurse (his second career), Jim was generous with his time and talent by serving those in the community, and he and his wife raised their family to do the same. He feels blessed and chooses to bless others!
Jim has been at Oakridge for 12 years and has engaged fellow employees in feeding the homeless through The Community Tabl
e in Eau Claire. Two or three times a year, the signs go up announcing the next Oakridge-hosted event. Jim gathers employee volunteers who prepare, cook, serve and clean up after the meal that typically serves between 150 and 200 homeless people. He also has a theme and gathers items that are necessary for that population – personal hygiene needs, like soap, washcloths, and deodorant; dental care needs like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and denture cleaner, and; winter needs like long underwear (a huge favorite!), and new or gently used sweaters, fleece, coats, hats and mittens for people of all sizes and ages (we sometimes forget that children are homeless too).
Jim organizes one person to check blood pressures for any person who stops by. Community Table charges the sponsoring site $100 to help defray the cost of food. Jim gathers donations or pays this fee himself.
Those of us who have participated with Jim are humbled by the benefits we receive – we see grateful people get food, warm clothing, a blood pressure screening, a smile, a warm hello. We see a team of employees pulling together for a great cause and having a wonderful time getting to know one another better. We leave feeling we received so much more than we gave. An additional benefit: We care for each other differently after we serve together!
Jim’s volunteerism didn’t start or stop with the Community Table – he’s been involved in projects with his church, with Hope Gospel Mission, Feed My People, and the Eau Claire Free Clinic, and he has a passion for finding and recycling medical equipment for people with a need. Jim’s house has stored hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, lift chairs, shower chairs, canes and more over the years. Nothing makes Jim happier than to place equipment in the homes of people who cannot afford what they need to recover fully.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful season of giving thanks and of giv
ing back. Jim’s tireless energy around giving reminds those of us who work with him that poverty and homelessness and need are not seasonal. Jim reminds us that giving is a way of life.