Faces in the Crowd: Sue Plooster
Sue Plooster has been volunteering at Monument Health for over 20 years, she began her volunteer journey in the Hospice House to give back after her mother received care there. Now she heads up the wig room.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Sue Plooster has been a volunteer at Monument Health for many years. She began her journey giving time at Hospice House.
Then she eventually began volunteering on the Volunteer Auxiliary Board and being the only retired beautician on the board, Sue helped to start the wig room in 2019.
Sue Plooster, Volunteer Auxiliary Board at Monument Health, says, “And we’ve given out about 150 free wigs ’cause we give out one free wig and a blockhead, and multiple do-rags and scarves and we have different groups that crochet and knit hats and some of the stores in town maybe have leftover new merchandise like hats and scarves and stuff that they will donate to us and stuff, so people are very giving.”
Businesses and individuals give money to the Monument Health Foundation that purchases the wigs. Any Cancer Care Institute patient can receive a wig and accessories for free.
The hair pieces are proving to be a part of the patient’s recovery.
Plooster says, “Oh, self esteem is fantastic. I mean, we’ve had women that, I mean they literally cry when they get a wig on and they look at themselves in the mirror. And you know, ’cause they bring in their husband or maybe a daughter or a close friend and help them pick out a wig that looks really good on them and we try really hard to get one that looks really natural on them that they can go out and nobody is going to know it’s a wig. You know, it’s really important to all of the volunteers that they get a good fitting on them, and it feels good. It looks good and looks really natural.”
She adds, “They want to look as close to normal as possible. I mean, that’s really important in this journey that they’re going through. I mean everybody is going through a journey. You want to look the best that you can. It’s just important.”
Sue reflects on her outreach to the patients.
“You know, sometimes we get tears in our eyes, you know. You know, it’s just everybody is different, you know, and you just have to do what you think is right. But it is really a wonderful, rewarding feeling. You feel like you have done something really, really good. You have made them happy. You have made a little bit of a difference in their life. You know, it’s just a great, great feeling,” Plooster says.
Sue is looking to recruit beauticians to volunteer in the wig room.
Sue mentions, “I think it’s a wonderful program. It’s really, really needed, and once the construction is all done, I’m hoping we’ll have a little bit bigger room. As you can see we have. We have a lot of wigs on display, but we could always display more if we had more room. ”