Volunteering leads way for gratitude

Jerry Fitzgerald calls volunteering the sure way to grow in appreciation for life.

“To see the struggles and, at times, the desperation and lack of hope in other people—you try to have a positive impact on them,” Jerry said. “It can’t help but improve your appreciation of your own life and the many blessings you have.”

With four children and 15 grandchildren plus a successful career in accounting in Denver, Jerry calls himself a blessed man. After retirement several years ago, he began to look for ways to give back in gratitude. He always remembered Samaritan House and hoped to work with people in need.

“I pursued some other volunteer opportunities but Samaritan House was the one that came to mind,” said Jerry, who attends Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden. “It’s been rewarding. I’ve enjoyed it.”

Jerry dedicates four hours a week every Monday to anything that the shelter needs. From front desk work to packing lunches, leading orientation, teaching money management classes and serving as a coach for, Jerry is described as the jack-of-all-trades at the shelter.

“I will meet with residents on a weekly basis to remind them of the things they need to be doing,” he said. “I see where they’re at and make sure they’re on track. The whole Samaritan House program is terrific in how it helps people.”

He believes communities and churches should be the main source of aid for people in need.

“Communities, churches and parishes should be helping the people and not the government. I have a strong belief in that,” he said. “I think this is the way the Lord intended it and the way we should give.”

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