Volunteer Spotlight: Pat Fischbach’s Journey of Giving Back - St Augustine Health Ministries

July 3, 2024

Volunteer Spotlight: Pat Fischbach’s Journey of Giving Back

After retiring, Pat found herself contemplating how to spend her new free time. She knew she wanted to volunteer but wasn’t sure what kind of work would be the best fit. One day, while sitting in church, she was browsing the bulletin and saw a volunteer opportunity at Holy Family Hospice. This brought back a vivid memory of taking her grandmother to visit a friend who was a patient there. The fondness she felt for the facility sparked a realization: “I think this is meant to be.”

She began her volunteer journey by visiting hospice patients at Holy Family Hospice, and it wasn’t long before she started vising with residents at St. Augustine Health Campus. “I knew that Holy Family and St. Augustine Health Campus were connected, so I was happy when I found out I could be involved at both places,” she shares. Pat’s role as a volunteer has evolved significantly over time. She has taken on multiple responsibilities, from vigil sitting to assisting at the reception desk. Currently, she spends several days a week helping feed patients at Holy Family Hospice. “Which I really enjoy because you get a little visit and get to help someone who may need help eating,’ she says. Pat also continues to do friendly visits with residents at St. Augustine Health Campus, strengthening the connections she has made over the years.

The Unexpected Rewards

Pat recalls numerous significant and rewarding moments from her volunteer experience. One particularly touching instance was when a patient she feeds at Holy Family Hospice told her, “I love you” as she was leaving. Reflecting on this Pat shared, “Her words really touched me. It let me know that my visits there mean something to her, and my time really does make an impact on the residents.” She often leaves these visits with a sense of fulfillment, saying, “When I walk out after helping with feedings, I know I helped someone, whether it was a patient or a staff member.”

Pat has found her connections to be mutually rewarding. “You get a little piece of the people you spend time with, hearing them say thank you for coming,” she reflects. These interactions are not just meaningful for the residents; they are equally impactful for Pat. “Sometimes it’s hard to say who gets more out of it. I get just as much from the visits. Once you get to know the person you’re visiting, it’s hard not to form an emotional bond.”

Not every visit involves conversation, but Pat recognizes the importance of simply being there. “Some visits there isn’t a lot of chatter, you’re just there. But you’re there for them,” she explains. This presence alone can make a significant impact. Each visit Pat goes in with the same heartfelt question: “What can I give to this person to make their day a little better?”

Pat’s journey at Holy Family Hospice and St. Augustine Health Campus is a beautiful example of how volunteering can enrich both the giver and the receiver. Her story highlights the significant impact that compassion and commitment can have on an individual. We are incredibly grateful for Pat’s selfless actions and dedication as a volunteer. Thank you, Pat, for all that you do.


About St. Augustine: For nearly 55 years, St. Augustine Health Ministries has provided services and programs to thousands of Clevelanders- the chronically ill, aging, disabled and those in need of hospice care. As a not-for-profit, faith-based organization, we rely on the support of our community friends and partners to help continue to bring these services to those in need. For more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Caroline DiFabio, Community Outreach Coordinator at (216) 939-7601.

© Copyright 2024 Powered by DevQ St. Augustine Health Ministries 7801 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland Ohio 44102 216.634.7400

Terms of Use Privacy Practices Donor Privacy Policy Nondiscrimination Notice Social Media Policy Employee Portal