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Aid for Friends is now known as Caring for Friends

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

—Albert Einstein

Caring for Friends volunteer stories

The best gift you can give to a homebound person is a little bit of yourself

Cheryl worked for 22 years at St. Joseph Manor as the Director of Cafeteria Services and knew the importance of tasty, nutritious meals for the elderly residents. She learned about Caring for Friends™, formerly known as Aid for Friends, from her husband after he heard Caring for Friends founder Rita Ungaro-Schiavone speak at a mass at St. Jerome’s Church in Philadelphia. As soon as Cheryl retired, she volunteered to become a visitor for Caring for Friends and was assigned to visit Margaret—the 2 women had an instant connection upon meeting. Cheryl loved visiting Margaret each week and bringing her meals…

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Caring for Friends client Margaret with volunteer visitor Cheryl

Retired nurse has a couple of new caring friends

Caring for Friends™ client Ann Connors is a feisty retired nurse in her early 60s originally from the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia. Her aunt, Doris Connors, was a very important volunteer and friend of Caring for Friends founder Rita Ungaro-Schiavone. Ann worked at various nursing positions for 25 years in hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health facilities. She is a Holy Family University Nursing School graduate and earned a social work degree from Temple University. “You see lots of action in hospitals”, she said. “Nurses are bad patients,” she joked. “They don’t like doctors and they see all that is…

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Caring for Friends client Ann Connors with volunteer visitors Carl and Kelly Stacey

Bingo queen slows down after 90

Kathleen is a 92-year-old woman who grew up in South Philadelphia. A graduate of Hallahan Catholic, she was married in St. Gabriel’s Church to her husband, who was also from South Philly. Fifty-five years ago, they moved to a brand-new house in Northeast Philadelphia where she still lives today. Kathleen had 2 sons and a daughter. When she and her husband got divorced after 20 years, her children went with her husband. Although her children don’t live too far away, they don’t visit Kathleen often. She never remarried. And though she had 2 younger brothers, an older brother, and an…

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Caring for Friends volunteer visitor Mary Williams and client Kathleen McDonough from South Philadelphia

Former travel agent helped by a couple of Caring for Friends volunteers

Caring for Friends™ volunteer visitors Dee and Frank Carr are well known within the organization as Secular Franciscans and work hard to help as many Caring for Friends clients as possible. “We are so lucky to have such dedicated volunteers.” –Steven Schiavone, Caring for Friends Executive Director “We are so lucky to have such dedicated volunteers. They remind me of the prayer of St. Francis: ‘Where there is despair, [let me bring] hope, Where there is darkness, [let me bring] light, Where there is sadness, [let me bring] joy,’” said Steven Schiavone, Caring for Friends Executive Director. One particular Caring…

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Caring for Friends volunteer works to ease the burden on a veteran

Philadelphia native Rich served in Korea during the Korean War. He came back to Philadelphia and found employment with Melraft Gasket Company at Richmond and Tioga Streets in Philadelphia, where he worked for 30 years, cutting material for the presses and making gaskets for cars. At age 46, his back gave out, and he went on disability. He returned to work after a year, but a hard sneeze reinjured his back and put an end to his career. The extent of Rich’s disability meant that he was not physically able to clean his house. Fortunately, Caring for Friends volunteer Joe…

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