Mary Cherniack: Volunteers Can Turn A Life Around

Apr 10, 2014 | Leadership

Mary Cherniack, Volunteer Coordinator

Mary Cherniack, Volunteer Coordinator

Every year, Milwaukee Catholic Home is supported by around 8,000 hours of volunteer work by close to 200 volunteers of all ages. Some of these volunteers are students who work with us for a week or for a semester, while others have given of their time for years or even decades. All of them exemplify the compelling Gospel message: “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). This week, we honor our volunteers in a special way.  Mary Cherniack, our Volunteer Coordinator, shares some thoughts on what makes an MCH volunteer.

We of course try all year round to show our very special MCH volunteers how much we value them. Our volunteers bring extraordinary skills, experience, friendship, vision and inspiration to our residents daily.

April 6th thru April 13th, National Volunteer Appreciation Week, is a special opportunity to express our thanks. Thursday, April 10th we hosted a ‘Wine and Roses’ party — because our volunteers deserve the very best! A good time was had by all.

Each year we honor one person as “Volunteer of Year.” This year, Gene Traudt received this well-deserved recognition. Gene goes above and beyond daily in serving our community and has for over 12 years! He has endeared himself to our residents and staff with his interpersonal skills and great understanding of others’ challenges, especially since he himself has overcome physical and cognitive difficulties.

With our recent renovations, MCH Volunteers have been involved in some new roles, particularly as hospitality help in the newly remodeled Town Center in our Health and Rehabilitation Center. Having a warm, friendly face at our new Café is so welcoming. Our volunteers bake cookies, make popcorn, serve beverages and make our residents, their families, and guests comfortable.

When I see our volunteers at work, I think of the quote from Leo Buscaglia: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

We are so blessed at Milwaukee Catholic Home with warm, caring people giving of their most precious resource…time!