volunteering on the weekend

Sarah Sun, Volunteer

Every Sunday I step into Sorrentino’s Compassion House I am greeted by something that fills my heart with joy. Many afternoons it is the friendly housekeeping staff with the sweetest smile, some afternoons it is the ladies mingling over tea, and today it is the tranquility of a peaceful home.
 
I am reminded this afternoon of this beautiful facility offered as a home away from home for women battling cancer. However, it is the people that come and go from this house that are the real treasures of my every visit. The weekend staff are always warm and willing to help. The small gatherings over tea and coffee in the dining area are always bubbling with the thrill of having company. Above all, the privilege of welcoming guests makes my time in Sorrentino’s Compassion House the most meaningful.
 
It has been an eye-opening experience to meet guests with different personalities and learn their unique needs to help them settle in comfortably. Although it is essential to orientate new guests with the details of their stay, the greatest task has been to reassure the guests that no matter where they are in their personal journey, we will support them to the best of our abilities.
 
In the beginning of taking on this role, I felt overwhelmed myself by the extensive checklist of information I have to relay to new guests at check-in. I now have a better understanding that it is less about the loads of information I am passing on because the community of women here are all so supportive of one another, but it is more about the care that I put into these women and their families. Caring is taking interest in their hometown and stories, making the extra effort to know their families and interests, and remembering the things they share with me so I can create a connection with them allows them to feel more at home.