BLOOMFIELD, NJ — A party recognizing the contributions of volunteers to residents of Job Haines Home was held at the facility on Thursday, June 21. Among them was a group of Rosary Society members from Sacred Heart Church in Bloomfield who have been coming regularly to pray the Rosary with the aged.
According to Danyette Randolph, the Job Haines Home activities director, there are 25 or so volunteers providing a service. In addition to the services of Rosary prayer and communion from Sacred Heart members, Randolph said other volunteers afford residents opportunities such as meeting and greeting a friendly dog for pet therapy. This happens every Saturday. Volunteers also provide one-on-one visits for a more private and personal interactions, and a retired, volunteer nurse visits the facility to work with the nursing staff.
Established in 1897, Job Haines Home is a non-profit facility for aged residents. It currently has 74 residents, but also provides physical rehabilitation services to all ages.
Volunteers from Sacred Heart are four women and a deacon. Three of those women and the deacon attended the party. One of the women was Denise Santos. A Bloomfield resident for 47 years, Denise has been volunteering to pray the Rosary for the last five years at Job Haines Home.
“We have a lot of people from our church here,” she said. “They love having us and we love doing it.”
Denise was sitting at a table with Lois Ardino, a Bloomfield resident of 60 years.
“My husband went through all the schools in Bloomfield,” Lois said. “I came from Illinois when I was 20.”
Another Sacred Heart Rosary Society member sitting with them was East Orange resident Lynette Atkinson. Both Lynette and Lois have been volunteering at Job Haines Home for five years.
“We can do this because we are retired,” Lois said. “A lot of our Rosarians work.”
Lois said that she was a retired secretary from the Essex County Medical Society, formerly in Verona.
“It no longer exists,” she said.
Lynette said she had worked in a nursing home as a registered nurse practitioner. Denise had been a meeting planner for a computer company. After she retired, she went to Sacred Heart Elementary School to substitute teach Spanish for what she thought would be a day and stayed for four years.
One Rosary Society member who did not make it to the party, the women said, was Fran Cosgrove.
And there was also a Job Haines Home resident at the table who works regularly with the Sacred Heart group. This was Charlotte Kunst. She had previously lived in Glen Ridge for 40 years and before that, in Nutley for 40 years. Charlotte said she was retired from Hoffman-LaRoche where she worked in medical advertising. It was explained that five volunteers were needed to pray the Rosary because the ritual has five parts known as mysteries. The deacon at the party was Jerry Rice.
The event held a number of surprises. One occurred when Charlotte said she grew up in Indiana and it was discovered that she and Lois hailed from towns only 100 miles apart.
More surprises were provided by the entertainment. This was a mind reader calling himself Flavian, although he said he did not read minds, but energy. Flavian said he grew up in Irvington and as a small boy became fascinated with hypnotism.
Getting the his show under way, Flavian wrote down on a piece of paper a four-digit number and put the paper into a small manila envelope. He then asked four volunteers to each think of one number and to tell him. The volunteers included Denise, Lynette and Deacon Rice. The four numbers, in the order that they were said by the volunteers, was 7416. Flavian withdrew the paper from the manila envelope to reveal that exact number! He said the odds for him to write down any number and then to have four people “come up” with the same number, as they just did, was 1 in 6,568.
Flavian had other mind readings during his act that were just as baffling. One was when he asked Charlotte to think of a movie actress that she would want to portray her. She was asked to write down the name and to place the paper in a manila envelope. He asked her if the name had an “E” in it and Charlotte said yes.
“Irene Dunne,” Flavian said.
He pulled out the piece of paper and sure enough, Charlotte had written down “Irene Dunne.” Somewhat oddly and funny, looking at the paper, Flavian said he did not know that “Dunne” was spelled with an “E.”
During dessert, Deacon Rice said he had been ordained 13 years ago and has been volunteering at Job Haines Home for 12 years. He said he visited once a month to distribute Holy Communion and to preach.
“You see them from month-to-month and they get older before your eyes,” he said. “Religious service gives people a memory of their life.”
He said there are some former Sacred Heart members at the Job Haines Home, too.
“When they see you,” he said, “you see that little bit of sparkle in their eyes.”
Before the volunteers departed, they were each given a small gift bag in another display of appreciation by the Job Haines Home.