Typing handwritten recipes into a computer, even with a broken wrist. Playing table games with an elderly hospice patient who outfoxes his opponents every time.

The spirit of volunteerism energizes Homeland Center and Homeland Hospice. Homeland Center’s 104 volunteers and Homeland Hospice’s 54 volunteers enjoyed an elegant dinner recognizing their contributions in helping Homeland maintain the highest standards of personal attention and engagement.

As she watched her grandchildren happily opening the colored plastic Easter eggs, Homeland Center resident Jean White mused the adults get as big a kick out of the annual hunt as the kids.

Eve James was a teenaged Homeland volunteer, helping residents with little things throughout the day. She quickly learned how much a small act of kindness could mean.

“We had a resident who didn’t have a lot of family, and she loved to do crossword puzzles,” says Eve. “I went to the store and got some crossword puzzles, and they were a dollar. Two books. She wept with gratitude. It made me feel so good that I could make her day.’’

In the lunch meat business, there’s one thing you learn by doing.

“I had to learn to slice,” said Homeland resident Donald Rudy. In those days, slicers didn’t have automatic stackers, so the operator had to slice and stack as he went along. “You’ve got to have good coordination, and you had to be fast. It was a knack.”

Domingo Mancuello told the Homeland Center audience that he would play three songs by a little-known songwriter names Isham Jones.

“One is called ‘Sweet Man,’ and the other is called ‘Sugar,’” he said. “And I’m not going to tell you the name of the third song because you’re going to know the title, and when you recognize that song, I want you to shout it out. Shout it out loudly, because this piano is loud.”


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