Sixteen years ago, Ruth Allison began her journey as a volunteer at Casa Serena. After decades of teaching, it was time to step aside from the school and dive into a new world: Community Services.
Ruth stumbled upon Community Services due to her willingness to practice Italian and serve the local community. “I used to teach high school. When I retired, I didn’t know what to do next. I was only sure that I wanted to speak in Italian and have contact with our community,” she says.
“Days later, I saw Co.As.It’s advertisement asking for volunteers able to speak Italian. It was love at first sight”.
Last December, for one last time, Ruth supported and spread love to each of her unforgettable clients (friends, as she calls them). Friendship, as she emphatically says, is what will be kept from these almost two decades at Casa Serena.
“There are lots of pictures of birthdays, parties and Christmas. There are also those special moments of happiness and tears that I will always carry on me.”
Ruth recalls that her first interactions with clients at Casa Serena were strictly in Italian, as most of them couldn’t speak English. Among her initial tasks was assisting clients in contacting the local parish, teaching English and even helping a romantic client find a bride.
“My experience as a volunteer was great. I recommend to anyone interested in serving the community talk to Co.As.It. My time at Casa Serena was amazing, and people have always been nice to me in a very welcoming way.”
Now, it is time for Ruth to look after herself and enjoy her retirement – and, for sure, become a periodic visitor to our “Community Centre of Friends”.