Indiana Township volunteer lives 'paying it forward'
One could say that Renee Arturo puts the concept of “paying it forward” into action.
The Indiana Township woman is a volunteer at the Pittsburgh office of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, which provides hospice care to those facing end-of-life issues and support for family members.
For Arturo, 65, such involvement is a natural response to what she has received.
“When you've been given a lot, you should give back,” she said. “And I've been blessed in so many ways.”
In her own life, she has seen the benefit of services like what VITAS provides.
“I have had family members that have had hospice care,” she said, “and I looked at that and I thought it was marvelous the way they treated the patients. I just decided to give back.”
Each week, she volunteers in the office, providing administrative support.
“Wherever they need help, that's where I go,” she said. “It could be something as simple as filing papers away or compiling booklets for nurses to take when they see patients.”
Her various duties include entering survey information, making up holiday baskets and “any office thing that you can think of.”
It's clear that those at VITAS are appreciative of Arturo's efforts.
VITAS General Manager Mark Katich said they are proud of the work she has done for the program.
“Her hard work and uplifting presence help our patients and their families tremendously,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have volunteers like Renee, who are passionate about making a difference with valuable contributions to hospice care.”
For Arturo, the opportunity to help is a welcome one. Though she doesn't directly interact with patients, she's glad to know that what she is doing “is helping the process to move along.”
That process can include visiting patients, providing transportation, helping them with household chores or just being a companion.
It adds up to supporting patients and caregivers.
“VITAS does a great job with that,” she said.
“I think that the volunteering gets a new face in there — helps people get through the times,” she said. “They're counseled, they feel there is someone to call that's going to be there for their loved one.”
Arturo, who works as a travel agent and at her husband's company, Alpine Pools, looks forward to more volunteer opportunities.
One that's high on her list is Meals on Wheels. As with VITAS, she is inspired to get involved as a result of seeing its service to a loved one.
Through good times and bad, she sees her own loved ones as a key motivation — especially her twin grandsons. Born premature, they're now 13 years old, and still a special inspiration.
“They inspire me to realize how blessed I am,” she said. “Even with the losses, I've made significant gains.”
Julie E. Martin is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Kensington resident looks to transform city
- Retiring Arnold, Lower Burrell mayors look back with contrasting views
- Lower Burrell family opens home to old-fashioned Easter egg hunt
- Smaller properties in Alle-Kiski Valley remain attractive to drillers
- Freshman arrested in Burrell High School bomb threat
- Aspinwall searches for new police chief
- Eagle egg breaks, parents abandon nest
- Leadership Butler County aims to benefit community with pavilion project
- Man in New Kensington standoff charged
- Hays eagle egg watch continues
- Leechburg hosts vigil to halt drugs, violence in the community