March 9, 2016

Student volunteers bring smiles to residents at Light of Hearts Villa

Light of Hearts Villa (LOHV) recently welcomed another group of volunteers from Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. Four to six students spend two evenings a month with residents at LOHV doing a variety of activities, such as playing bingo, bowling, listening to music and talking to get to know each other as part of the college’s service-learning program.

“The residents just love having their company and the students enjoy seeing the smiles they bring to our resident's faces,” said Elizabeth Hickle, executive director at LOHV.

Students from Notre Dame College have been volunteering at LOHV for the past two years. A small group of students initially came to help organize the facility’s food pantry, which provides food to seniors in need in the local community. The first group of students has encouraged other campus groups to get involved, which has led to the twice monthly visits.

“The students provide our residents with intergenerational experiences. Our residents rarely get to interact with young people they are not related to and this program provides the opportunity for them to find friendship with young people,” said Anne Messer, life enrichment director at LOHV. “It also gives the residents the opportunity to share stories from their lives and growing up as a way to pass on their knowledge to young people.”

Light of Hearts Villa is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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