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Mercy House Celebrates the 'Joys of Volunteers'

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For three years, volunteers at Mercy House of the Southern Tier have made the lives of terminally ill people more comfortable and loving, in their final days.

And on Friday, Mercy House celebrated April's National Volunteer Appreciation month with an appreciation luncheon. With the theme of "Celebrating the Joys of Volunteering," staff of the care-shelter honored the 266 volunteers that donate their time to the kitchen, housekeeping, reception, caregiving, and clerical work.

Joani McCarthy has been volunteering with Mercy House for over 2 years, but it all started when her sister Michelle became the fourth resident ever to live in the house. And when McCarthy entered the doors for the first time, she knew this place was special.

"As soon as I walked into [Mercy House] it was just something I knew I was going to end up working here," said McCarthy.

Cherishing her sister's memory while giving the same level of support she received, Joani McCarthy said she feels honored to provide comfort to those with illnesses and their loved ones. "It's just a wonderful, comforting place to be."

Mercy House Executive Director, Linda Cerra, said without caring volunteers that give their time and effort daily, the organization would not be able to carry out a supportive environment like it is.

"[Volunteers] make the experience for the residents and their families the best that it possibly can be... We truly value our volunteers," said Linda Cerra.

And thanks to the hard work of volunteers, Cerra is joyful that Mercy House will continue to provide exceptional care for residents, many years to come.

If you would like to join the Mercy House of the Southern Tier's volunteer team, click here for more information.