WAUCHULA, Fla. — Theresa Alexy, a 91-year-old volunteer at AdventHealth Wauchula has logged more than 50,000 hours of kindness and comfort working at the hospital’s gift shop.
Alexy grew up a coal miner’s daughter in Pittsburgh, Pa.
But it was her mother who taught Theresa the lasting lessons that have made her a 91-year-old hero at the Tampa Bay area hospital.
“My mother always said, ‘Do for people.’ Make them happy. Never turn anyone away,” Alexy said.
Theresa was a caterer before she retired in her 60s. She’s since spent the past 26 years volunteering her kindness at AdventHealth Wauchula.
She’s logged more than 50,000 hours at the hospital’s gift shop. She helped opened it, and now she helps run it and stock it.
The shop’s biggest seller? Angels.
Alexy, who’s something of a legend at the hospital, certainly knows about angels.
“The gift shop is more than just that,” says Theresa, whose late husband Bill was also a superstar volunteer at the hospital. “Sometimes people come in and they’re sad, so I say, ‘Let’s talk about it.’”
Theresa’s supervisor Christen Johnson says Theresa’s tremendous heart and genuine love for people “is something you feel when you walk into her presence.”
Theresa turns 92 next week and she has no plans of retiring.