Volunteer Appreciation Month - Volunteer Spotlight

Conversation with Senior Services Visiting Companion Joan Bellagamba

Joan Bellagamba has been our most faithful Visiting Companion to a Senior Services client. She began volunteering ten years ago, and continues to visit Alma B. 3-5 times each month.

Joan has followed Alma B. through a change from assisted living to a nursing home setting, and continues to be her close ally and advocate.

Here are Joan’s responses to questions about her Visiting Companion volunteer work for St. Vincent de Paul Center’s Senior Services program:

How did you become interested in this volunteer opportunity?

            I used to volunteer to do hair in a local senior building. I was also helping to take care of my mother. After my mother passed away, I missed her and wanted to find a way to continue helping seniors in need.I saw a notice about the Visiting Companion program, and it seemed like a good match for me.

What has kept you coming back for ten years?

            Alma and I have developed a strong friendship, and I don’t want to leave her alone in a nursing home. Visiting with her is an important part of my life now. I enjoy being there with her, and helping her with little things like setting her hair and organizing her closet for her.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

            I hope more people will volunteer through the Visiting Companion program. It doesn’t take much time, no more than an hour or two each week. It is very rewarding to do so much good for someone in need, and a great friendship can come from it. 

Interested in volunteering? Click here.

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  • Foglia Family & Youth Center
    2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Marillac Social Center
    212 S. Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL 60612
  • St. Vincent de Paul Center
    2145 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614