It’s volunteer month, and we never get tired of recognizing and thanking the hundreds of volunteers who contribute so much towards the MCH mission.
It’s common knowledge that nursing homes and senior services organizations like MCH rely heavily on volunteer help. What’s less well known is the generosity of our residents in giving of their time as volunteers, both here at MCH and in the broader community.
In a recent general audience, Pope Francis reached out to fellow older adults and reminded them of all they have to offer.
“We, older people, can remind ambitious young people that a life without love is barren. We can tell fearful young people that worrying about the future can be overcome. We can teach young people who are in love with themselves too much that there is more joy in giving than receiving,” the Pope said.
Paul and Barbara Salsini, who moved to Milwaukee Catholic Home in 2011, enjoy volunteering on the second Saturday of each month at the Riverwest Food Pantry. As part of a group from SS. Peter and Paul Parish, they register clients and sort and distribute food items.
The pantry, which began in the late 1970s, provides food assistance to between 500 and 1,000 people a month.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Paul Salsini said. “We’re only there a few hours, but you can’t help thinking ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’”
Pope Francis’s words resonate with the Salsinis.
“I was struck with something Pope Francis said recently, something that of course has always been true: ‘There is more joy in giving than receiving,'” Paul said.
The Salsinis are not alone – receiving the gifts of more time and freedom in their retirement years, many MCH residents find joy in giving of these gifts back to the community. MCH residents volunteer at a variety of sites, including the Audubon Center and Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital. Many also volunteer in MCH’s Health and Rehabilitation Center.
The MCH community is grateful to all our volunteers, and especially the residents who set an example of retirement life lived to the fullest.