Susan is one of Friedman Place’s longest volunteers – for nearly 11 years, she has come to Friedman Place weekly to engage in a variety of activities with the residents. She always arrives early and the residents excitedly wait to greet her with big smiles and lots of hugs. Her volunteer work varies from playing cards and crosswords with groups of residents to reading to residents one on one. Over the years at Friedman Place, Susan has created a special bond with many of the residents. These relationships have flourished over simple things like a shared love of peanut butter or reciting poems. One resident she reads to in particular has a booming voice and loves poetry. He has been known to recite “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe on Halloween with his bellowing voice and listening to it is a favorite Halloween tradition of hers.
She is a lifelong resident of Chicago and enjoys watching and attending baseball games with her husband. Having grown up on the north-side, she prefers the Cubs, but but will attend a White Sox game from time to time as well. Susan attended UIC, where she received a degree in social work, and she speaks Hebrew and Spanish. She and her husband have one son who lives in Israel and while it is difficult to be so far from her son and three grandchildren, she is thrilled to be able to visit them twice a year.
For Susan, volunteering at Friedman Place runs in the family. When she was a young adult, her father volunteered at The Kagen Home (Friedman Place’s former name). He would put on music shows for the residents and bring in cassette tapes for everyone to listen to. Susan cherishes the warmth she feels from our Friedman community and this is what keeps her coming back week after week.