Volunteer celebrates Mother’s Day with senior women

Extraordinary People

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Mother’s Day can be a difficult day for some elderly women who don’t have loved ones to celebrate with. Thanks to a local volunteer, they won’t be alone this weekend.

Joanne Chada is looking forward to pampering dozens of mothers this weekend at the annual Volunteers of America Mother’s Day Breakfast for Seniors. It’s called “I Remember Mama.”

She says, “Every year when it’s ‘I Remember Mama’ I put everything on hold and that’s my focus. Women who don’t have anybody left to celebrate Mother’s Day with… we take care of them.”

The women are treated to flowers, food, entertainment, and fancy hats, “and in these bags, if a woman doesn’t want a hat, she has a choice of (a bag). Most of these bags are filled with things like chocolate because what woman doesn’t love some chocolate!”

Joanne is retired from Xerox and has enjoyed volunteering for many years especially for this event. She explains, “My husband and I don’t have children and I would love it if somebody did this for me and they just love it! To know that someone is thinking about them.”

And Joanne will be thinking about her own Mother this weekend who passed away in 2003. Joanne says it was mom who taught her the joy of giving.  She explains, “It’s kind of typical of philanthropy where you get more enjoyment out of it than the people that you are serving…I mean I know that they love the day but we walk away from there and our hearts are just full of love.”

To learn more about VOA and how you can help, visit voaupny.org/irm

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