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Pat Burwitz: All Roads Lead to Christian Health

Pat Burwitz’s travels from her former residence in Fairview to her daughter’s house in North Haledon often took her past Christian Health (CHCC). And each time she passed, the same thought popped into her head.

“I always thought, ‘I really would like to volunteer there,’ “ she says. “My parents were in a facility in Illinois that is very much like the Center. I felt that by volunteering here it would be a way of giving back to the senior community.”

Despite her intention to join CHCC’s volunteer force, Mrs. Burwitz didn’t get around to doing so until she heard a “motivating” announcement at church in 2002.

“Our pastor at the time was Rev. William Faulkner, DMin. He announced that he was leaving the parish and was going to become a chaplain at Christian Health,” Mrs. Burwitz says. “I said to myself, ‘This is telling me something.’ The next day I went to CHCC to inquire about became a volunteer.”

As a volunteer at Heritage Manor Nursing Home, Mrs. Burwitz assists with bingo and other group activities, transports residents to religious services, and helps residents complete satisfaction surveys, among other duties.

“I enjoy being with the residents,” Mrs. Burwitz says. “You become like a family member to them.”

Last year, volunteers donated 10,784 hours at CHCC. In addition to assisting with activities, volunteers perform a wide range of duties, such as making “friendly visits” with residents, organizing fundraising events, and serving on the boards of trustees.

“The volunteer experience at the Center is so rewarding on so many levels,” says Caroline Silva, Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator. “Our volunteers are an exceptional group of dedicated and caring individuals. Their efforts and commitment are invaluable. They are an unending source of devotion to our mission.”