AVON — Pat DiSchino’s helpers traveled 600 hundred miles to come to his aid this summer.
DiSchino, a resident at Avon on the Green Apartments, said it’s difficult for him to kneel to wipe his refrigerator clean and scrub his shower stall. So when a group from the Chicago area was looking for jobs to do in Livingston County during a mission trip, DiSchino volunteered his apartment.
“I like the help, especially at my age,” said DiSchino, 89.
High-school students ages 15 to 18 with the Crossroads Youth Ministry from St. John of the Cross Parish in Western Springs, Ill., found out about Catholic Charities of Livingston County’s Faith in Action program through Nancy Lynch, who attended their church for 20 years before moving to Canandaigua.
Lynch now works at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, where the group stayed during the retreat. She also connected group members with the Faith in Action program, and they were able to set up a work tour for late June.
Christa Barrows, program director for Faith in Action, arranged with the program’s clients to have the high-school students come to their homes to a wide variety of chores or housework.
“Most of them are people we have served in the past, but there are even a few new people,” she said.
The goal of the Faith in Action program is to help elderly people stay in their homes, she said. Clients served include the frail elderly, those with slight dementia, health problems, those on fixed or low incomes, the lonely or the homebound. For many, transportation outside their home is a big issue, said Mary Beth Geldner, program director of Catholic Charities of Livingston County’s volunteer coordination.
“The beauty (of the area) is wonderful, but it creates isolation,” Geldner said.
In addition to helping with Faith in Action, volunteers also spent time helping at Foodlink in Rochester. They also got a chance to see Niagara Falls on their trip home. During past trips, the youth group has worked in Mississippi and California.
“We kind of go where people lead us, which is neat,” said Katie Hayes, director of youth ministry.
Norah Scannell, 18, who had recently graduated from high school at the time of the trip, said before she started college, where she plans to study nursing, she wanted to go on her first work tour.
“It sounded like it would be a good time,” Scannell said.