Friday, September 21, 2012

Volunteer Spotlight: Paulette Campbell

“Clean of Heart was one of the best ideas I have ever heard of” said Paulette Campbell, who has been volunteering since May 2011. She is a member of Saint Vincent de Paul Society at St. Peter’s and volunteers at Clean of Heart twice a month. When volunteering, Paulette also likes to bring little things for the people that come in, like new underwear, socks, Gatorade, and Pop Tarts. For Paulette, one of the best things about volunteering being able to both help meet basic needs while also showing she cares by doing little things like adding fabric softener or dryer sheets to make clothes softer and give them a fresh, clean scent. She has also enjoyed meeting other volunteers and becoming friends with “some of the most wonderful, kind, caring volunteers.” Paulette said that she thinks Clean of Heart is a wonderful organization because everyone appreciates the opportunity to take a good shower and put on clean clothes after the shower. Her favorite experiences at Clean of Heart involve seeing the transformation that occurs in the lives of people that regularly come in. When people come in for the first time they are often withdrawn, with few smiles and are not interested in having many conversations. As they keep coming in, she says they begin to open up, engage in conversations, and smile and laugh more. Paulette enjoys seeing these people blossom into new members of the Clean of Heart family.

Paulette, thanks for volunteering and adding those little touches to show people that you care about them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Moore

Soon after Clean of Heart opened, Mary Moore began volunteering once a month. Mary attends Our Lady of the Hills and first heard about Clean of Heart while attending Mass there. She also volunteers at Christ Central, serves on the bereavement committee at Our Lady of the Hills, and has volunteered for the past 2 years with SC Mission. When asked about her experiences at Clean of Heart, Mary said “The most rewarding aspect of volunteering at Clean of Heart is realizing that there are so many with true hardships and needs. I hope that our efforts and actions help those that come in for clean clothes and a feeling of safety. I have been emotionally rewarded every time I volunteer.”

Outside of volunteering, Mary enjoys gardening, baking, reading, attending spin classes, and working at Irmo Urgent Care part-time. This month Mary and her husband celebrated 22 years of marriage! Thanks for serving at Clean of Heart, Mary, and congratulations!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Escobar

Jessica Escobar is a PhD Candidate at the University of South Carolina where she is studying sustainability of food security policies in developing countries. 5 months ago she began volunteering with Clean of Heart on a monthly basis or when substitutes are needed. She says “I think it is important that we join the works of our Church to bring God’s love to others and to help others to believe and to seek eternal life.” For Jessica, the most rewarding part of volunteering is seeing people happy when they are treated with dignity, enjoying a snack, and getting clean clothes. She also enjoys sharing the morning work with other volunteers because she can feel God’s presence with them. Through volunteering with Clean of Heart, Jessica has been challenged to overcome her own needs and instead be available for God to use her to love others. 

When she isn’t volunteering with Clean of Heart or working on her studies, Jessica enjoys sports, reading history books and biographies of the saints, and watching movies. Thanks for all you do Jessica and good luck with your studies as the new school year begins!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Carter-May Day of Caring 2012

"Are you ready for a little pampering?" "Oh yes, any time!"

With these words Trident United Way's annual Day of Caring began at our Carter-May Assisted Living Home. Carter-May is located in Charleston, SC, and provides assisted living services for older adults. Residents in this home receive excellent care, attention, meals, and more from our employees and volunteers. On Friday, September 7, volunteers from Blackbaud, MUSC Human Resources, Simply Your Spa, and University School of the Lowcountry participated in the 2012 Day of Caring and spent time helping at the Carter-May home.

University of the Lowcountry students singing "Happy Birthday" to some of the Carter-May residents.
Blackbaud volunteers worked inside to clean and paint our facility while students, parents, and staff members from University School of the Lowcountry worked outside on landscaping projects. Our residents created scrapbook pages with volunteers from the MUSC Human Resources department and were given manicures, pedicures and hand massages by the ladies from Simply Your Spa.

 Blackbaud employees painting inside Carter-May.

Heather Coll, a teacher at University School of the Lowcountry, attended with 6 students from the school. She said "We love coming to help out at Carter-May during the Day of Caring. It's my favorite event of the year. It gives students, parents and teachers a chance to get to know each other outside of school, spend time together, and give back to our community. It's also a great teaching opportunity for the kids and lets us teach them about volunteering and giving back."

Students from the University School of the Lowcountry working on landscaping projects.

Volunteers from the MUSC Human Resources department have been participating in the Day of Caring at Carter-May for several years. One of these volunteers said this- "I briefly considered going somewhere else this year, but I just love these ladies and couldn't pass up an opportunity to spend time with them!" These volunteers spent quality time with some of our residents and were able to get to know the them as they talked and scrapbooked together.

 MUSC Human Resources volunteers creating scrapbook pages with some of the residents.

The Simply Your Spa volunteers helped pamper our residents as they went around the home giving hand massages. They also give residents manicures and pedicures. While providing these services, they had the chance to talk to some of our residents. One resident shared that she and her husband use to enjoy traveling and their favorite place was the Grand Canyon. This resident told the volunteers all about the beautiful things they saw while on their Grand Canyon trip. As the resident was getting her nails painted, she asked the volunteer what the name of the polish color was. It turned out to be "Grand Canyon Sunrise"! This resident and the volunteers thought this was such a fun coincidence!

Our residents enjoyed hand and foot care provided by Simply Your Spa.

We had a wonderful time at the 2012 Day of Caring and are very grateful for all the volunteers did. A great big thanks to the volunteers and to Trident United Way for organizing this event each year! We can't wait for 2013 Day of Caring and hope to see some these volunteers return before then!!

For more pictures from the Day of Caring, please click here.

For more information about the Carter-May Home, including volunteer and donor opportunities, please click here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Volunteer Spotlight: Gwen Skipper

When Gwen Skipper retired, she promised to no longer work for money. Instead she began looking for new ways to donate her time and energy and, luck for us, chose to do so at Catholic Charities!  In the past Gwen has worked with Catholic Charities on other projects and now works in both the Catholic Charities Clothing Closet and Clean of Heart. She has been volunteering at the Clothing Closet since 2001 and began also volunteering at Clean of Heart when it opened. Gwen volunteers monthly and enjoys spending time with the people that come in, getting to know them, and seeing that they’re just like her with a few more challenges. One of her favorite things about volunteering is working with clients and seeing the change in their demeanor. She admits that sometimes individuals come in that are withdrawn or do not seem appreciative, however she also says that you learn to accept them as imperfect people and remember that God loves us all, even when we are being difficult.

When she isn’t volunteering, Gwen likes to garden and read. She also enjoys spending time with her family- her mother, husband, children, and grandchildren. Thanks for your years of service with Catholic Charities, Gwen, and for sharing about your experiences!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Volunteer Spotlight: Claire Wagner

Claire Wagner is one of Catholic Charities of the Midland's longest serving volunteers. For more than 10 years she has volunteered with the clothing closet operated by Catholic Charities. When Clean of Heart opened in 2011, Claire also began volunteering there. She thought this was a great opportunity for the clients of the clothing closet because they can wash their clothes instead of throwing them away when they get dirty. Claire volunteers at least once a month and gets satisfaction from seeing people leave the facility feeling so much better about themselves. 

Claire attends St. Joseph Church in Columbia and enjoys being involved with her church. She also likes to spend time with her family and relax at home. Thanks for your service with Catholic Charities, Claire!