During a time when individuals are experiencing isolation, Jami La Rue is working to unite the community. This hometown hero is making a difference working as a registered nurse, but also by volunteering at the Hospitality Center, located at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 614 Main Street.
Like a true hero, who is humble, La Rue comments that “this is our community story, not just mine.” In light of her actions, the Racine County Eye recognizes her as this week’s Hometown Hero.
Heroism in Action
La Rue works for Racine County Behavior Health- Community Support Program, as a nurse. In her position, she works with a set of social workers who help care for individuals living throughout Racine County. La Rue serves people who have mental illnesses and other chronic conditions.
Like many nurses, she administers injections and medications. She works on supporting others while helping them achieve healthier lives. In this line of work, La Rue visits homes and has been trained to protect herself from transmittable diseases.
When COVID-19 started effecting the community, in which this hero was born and raised, she was prepared to take action.
Blessing in Disguise
La Rue had plans to do crisis work in New Jersey at the start of the pandemic. While she was unable to fulfill that duty, due to an injury, she stepped up in her own community to help.
Seeing an opportunity on Facebook to be a volunteer at the Hospitality Center, she saw it as a blessing in disguise. Her commitment to the center went as far as using her vacation days to spend time there helping. She spent her time cooking, bringing people together and serving those in need.
She remained going into patient’s homes despite COVID-19. Being unable to go to New Jersey led her to help more people than she could imagine.
“In a lot of ways, I was the one to put the message out there. What is so warming and heartfelt is the ways that people came forward to help,” she says.
Focused on Community
La Rue wasn’t the only one focused on making a difference. Countless people from Racine County stepped up to help the Hospitality Center when they needed it most. Through monetary and supply donations, the Hospitality Center was able to continue serving Racine through the pandemic.
It is because of her actions that so many others felt compelled to give. Friends of La Rue became volunteers as well. People used their connections to strengthen the food distribution supply at the Hospitality Center. An example of this is when someone was able to connect with Niagara Water and get the center supplied.
La Rue says she felt like the messenger. On top of being a nurse, she is a Herbal Life distributer. The proceeds from this side job went straight back to the community. She would use her income to purchase groceries. In every way that La Rue could think of, she continually gave back.
“It is so beautiful to see people come together,” she said.
Her focus has been on the community.
“I had my heart set on one way to help, but the community was really the one to help me. There are so many people willing to help, but just need direction,” she said. “I can’t stress enough that this isn’t my story, but our community’s story,” says La Rue. Just like La Rue saw a sign, this is yours. Be a part of the story.
She is making an impact on the lives of those in Racine and encouraging others to do so. If you want to get involved with the Hospitality Center, reach out to Pamela, the volunteer coordinator contact by emailing Pamela@hospitality-center.org. Other points of contact are Father Seth ( Seth@hospitality-center.org) and Carl Fields (Carl@hospitality-center.org)
Nominate a Hero
Click here to nominate a Healthcare Hero. Share your story on the Racine County Eye and thank a hero. Check out other stories of heroism, by clicking here. Contact Emma Widmar at email@example.com for more information about the series.