By Maria Gurovich for The Island Connection
Queens, New York natives, Barbara and Edward Fitzpatrick have been married for almost 60 years. Ed and Barb’s sisters went to school together. Ed worked at a deli and one day, during a “bread strike,” Barb came in to purchase some bread.
“I had some bread stored under the counter for my regular customers, so I made sure to give her 2 loaves,” remembers Ed. However, it wasn’t until one of Ed’s sister’s wedding when Ed and Barb reconnected. They exchanged many letters while Ed was in the Navy.
Ed went on to work for Goldman Sachs for 31 years. Barbara was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest child turned 10 years old and then she managed a Catholic school cafeteria. Although, they had a vacation house in Tampa, FL and all of their 6 children and 21 grandchildren live up north, in 2007 they decided to retire in Charleston, instead.
They were encouraged to volunteer with the Neighborhood House soup kitchen by Ed’s sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Charles Sanaga.
“We have been enjoying coming for close to 9 years. We love helping—it’s gratifying.” Some of the clients have been coming as long as they have been volunteering. But they both hope that one day people won’t have to rely on Neighborhood House’s help. Until that moment comes, they will always be there volunteering and serving meals.
Volunteer Spotlight is a column in The Island Connection highlighting members of the community who give their time to help others. If you know of a volunteer who deserves the spotlight email email@example.com. If you’ d like to get involved with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and make a positive change in someone’s life contact Maria Gurovich via phone 843.559.4109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.