The Antonine Sisters are blessed with a cadre of dedicated volunteers who offer themselves to serve the needs of those attending the Antonine Adult Day Care Center in North Jackson.
Volunteers range from people like Phyllis Chaney of Lordstown, who’s assisted at the Day Care Center for nearly 12 years, to Shirley Sutton of Weatherfield Township, a volunteer for “five or six years”, to Joe Dohar, a newcomer to the volunteer ranks, with about four months of service. He lives in Mineral Ridge.
Phyllis connected with the Antonine facility after she and her husband, both retired, had moved to the Mahoning Valley 15 years ago. “I was looking for a way to serve the Lord,” she said. After driving by the Adult Day Care Center on North Lipkey Road one day in March or April 2004, Phyllis asked if they needed a volunteer; the answer was yes, and she’s been helping out every Tuesday (and whenever else she’s needed for special occasions) ever since.
Phyllis works with the Adult Day Care Center attendees on their cognitive skills, playing mind and memory games with them. “It’s fun working with them. There is always something different going on,” she said.
Phyllis said she also is always willing to pray with some of the adults, whenever she’s asked. “That’s the desire of my heart, to serve the Lord.”
She highly recommends volunteering at the facility, and is a goodwill ambassador by passing out brochures whenever she sees families who may need a place for a loved one to go while they work or just take respite time. The Adult Day Care Center “is one of the nicest places you could ever go,” Phyllis said.
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Keeping minds sharp
Shirley spent 23 years working as a nurse in long-term care before retiring. “I was used to working with older people and missed it,” she said. That’s when she decided to start volunteering.
Her assistance varies from helping the staff serve meals to directing activities like bingo or current event and trivia games; “things to keep their minds sharp,” she said.
She volunteers every Monday, enjoys the experience “immensely” and would heartily recommend volunteering to others. And she notes that she’s made a lot of new friends in the process.
Shirley pointed out that it’s always good to have more volunteers at the center because “it’s nice to spend time with the people. And each one of us has different talents that can be used to make their experience better,” she said.
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Disabled and determined
Joe, a newbie to the volunteering experience, is retired and disabled. Dohar knew the Antonine Sisters through his membership at St. Maron Church in Youngstown and activities at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in North Jackson. Despite his disability, Dohar wanted to volunteer at the center and “be helpful in some way.”
He spends a few hours a week assisting wherever there is a need. For Joe, the concept of the Adult Day Care Center “is a great idea. It gives families who have someone with difficulties a break a few hours a day, and they really do a great job for the adults,” he said.
“The sisters are nice and very good people and are very dedicated to their work, and the nurses aides really work hard,” Joe said.
Those interested in volunteering can call Antonine Village at (330) 538-9822 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
All clients at the Adult Day Care Center are provided nutritious, home-cooked meals; are engaged in conversation and social interaction; receive intellectual stimulation through games and music; and participate in physical activities like handcrafts and light exercise. Bus service is provided to those who may need it.