Volunteers at Paul’s Run in Northeast Philadelphia help residents stay engaged in activities that involve them with their passions and the community.

The Community Service Club

Ellen (center) makes sandwiches with Community Service Club members

Ellen Daneke helps coordinate community service activities and has served there as a liaison with local homeless shelters and church food ministry programs for nearly seven years.

Three times a month, or more, she inspire residents to package snack or personal hygiene bags, which she delivers to the appropriate organizations. “Many residents have been active all of their lives in community service, and they want to continue contributing” explains Ellen.

“Some Knitting Club members use their skills to make hats for the homeless, whereas others assemble cookie and snack bags, or personal hygiene bags for homeless. These activities provide residents with social opportunities while helping others,” says Ellen.

The Arehart Foundation, local churches and the Friends of Paul’s Run have helped fund community service activities over the years.

When asked why she gives, Ellen says, “No one should have to be hungry or homeless in America, and I want to do whatever I can do to help.”

Book Club

Nancy (center) leads a lively book discussion

Nancy Koppelman enriches residents’ lives through lively book discourses as the leader of the Book Club.

When she retired, Nancy wanted to volunteer with older populations, because as she explains, “It provides the opportunity to observe seniors enjoying intellectual activities they have pursued all of their lives.”

She adds, “I want to help seniors stay socially and intellectually connected with their peers.”

Book Club members gather once a month to discuss poems or novels, and often have conversations about current events. Various members make suggestions about what books to read as well as Nancy offers suggestions.

Yiddish Club

Eitan (center) with two Paul’s Run residents at the Museum of Jewish Heritage

Over the summer, Jewish residents stay connected to their roots with the help of 17-year-old Eitan Cassway who is a senior in high school.

Amidst juggling academics, writing college application essays, and working part-time, he volunteered at Paul’s Run to help residents share Yiddish language and culture with the younger generation.

“I love spending time with seniors, hearing their stories, and I love the Yiddish language,” he says. “Older people are the only ones who can pass these down, so I want to do my part to keep that part of my culture alive.”

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Paul’s Run, contact Molly Bybee, Director of Community Life, at [email protected], or visit www.libertylutheran.org/volunteer.

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