I worked for Catholic Charities at North Park Village, 5801 North Pulaski Road in Chicago, with the “Meals on Wheels” program. We coordinated meals for seniors who needed additional food. This was assessed by the Northwest/Northeast Case Managers and implemented within a days’ notice to the client’s door. God bless those hard working case managers!
My lasting impression of Catholic Charities is the people associated with the organization. I don’t think I have ever met a more knowledgeable, giving, and caring group of people than I did in North Park. I was also extremely impressed with the drivers and delivery of the meals, which I evidenced firsthand on my block a few years later down the road.
My neighbor rang my doorbell to ask if I could help him. He had a sister in the far western suburbs and after his father died, he needed a little assistance. He was not yet a senior but he was disabled (with a mentally challenged affliction) and he wanted to remain in his home. So, in came Meals on Wheels as a starting point. He received Meals on Wheels until he too died last year.
It was with his meal delivery that I personally saw the dynamics of the delivery. They were timely and the driver/delivery people most cheerful and friendly. Through the years the driver and my neighbor formed a little bond of friendship. My neighbor never made a doctor’s appointment or went far from the block on delivery day. He not only looked forward to his food, but the chit-chat with his new friend. It was there I saw the driver ring the bell and personally delivery the meals. He was one of the first people to know if an individual was sick or hospitalized since food is never left on the steps.
That sparks another memory about several people, who could least afford it, would occasionally send in a dollar or two (cash in an envelope no less) to Catholic Charities to show their appreciation for all the food they had to eat. That, my friends, is a class act.
I, myself, developed a lasting friendship with one of the case managers. We often talk about the “Catholic Charities” days.
It was a wonderful experience working at Catholic Charities and does my soul good to know there are so many kind people out there – going way beyond “job descriptions” to help those in need. These are the people, in the background, who make a difference – who put such a “human” touch to their work by caring.
Times today are pretty intense. The whole world is in turmoil. Globally we are all connected. God help the troubled souls.
…God bless all the marvelous people who diligently try to make things just a little better for someone.