The Phillips Family

Our journey to Gianna Homes began with a friend who passed out a flier at a meeting at our oldest daughter’s high school. I couldn’t get Gianna Homes out of my mind, especially as both of my parents have been struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Neither my husband or I have family in Minnesota-we moved here in 1991 from Kansas City-and dealing with my parents struggles from so far away has been a difficult process. In finding Gianna Homes, I can contribute in a small way to the comfort of the residents, in whom I see my parents.

When I first started, I was the only one from my family who was volunteering. Initially, I was nervous about how to deal with the residents but the more I came to Gianna Homes and spent more time with everyone, I found that all they needed was for me to be present, to touch them, to know that I was there.

I found after several months that I wanted to get my kids involved and it has been the best decision I have ever made. My children have also been enthusiastic volunteers as well. Chan and I are blessed with 6 wonderful children who have all been happily coming with me one evening a week.

When my 6 kids and I come to Gianna Homes, we all spread out. Our seven children have learned how to just be in the presence of someone, hold their hand and just be with them. Dominic and Pearl like to do activities with the residents such as play with balls, color, play musical instruments and read books.

What we have found is that not only do we see my parents faces in the residents, we also see the face of God.