When you think of the word “volunteer,” Anne Giglia should be at the top of the list. “I’m a people person; I just love people,” says Anne. As a member of the Residents Council for St. John’s Home, Anne helps to advocate for the needs of all residents. She acknowledges the preferences of her peers and is not shy about voicing her opinion. No matter the task at hand, you will always find Anne with a smile on her face and a job to fulfill.
A native of the city of Tonawanda, New York Anne raised four children with her one and only love, Salvatore, whom she referred to as a “strict Italian.” Anne spent her time volunteering at a local hospital, taking care of her children, and cooking for her family. After Salvatore passed, Anne went back to work as a cashier at Bells Market, where she loved interacting with the customers.
Anne suffered a stroke in the spring of 2006 that immobilized her left arm. “I can’t walk, but I get around,” Anne explains. Anne moved to Rochester in the fall of that same year where she found St. John’s Home. Her daughter, Tricia, also lives in the area. “She’s my baby,” Anne says smiling. Like most individuals, Anne did not want to leave her home. “I was not a happy camper when I first came here,” Anne recalls. It took her time to become acclimated with her new lifestyle and transition to an unfamiliar place, which is why she turned to volunteering and the desire to “make others feel at home.”
Due to Anne’s jubilant personality and generous heart, it is not surprising she became the face of St. John’s Volunteer Services “Welcome Wagon” program. She welcomes new residents transitioning to St. John’s Home with open arms and delivers “Welcome Wagon” gift bags. When she is not sharing her story with new residents, you can probably find her delivering mail on the Sunflower neighborhood, where she has lived for over 10 years.
Anne is a strong promoter of volunteering and believes the success of any corporation begins and ends with volunteers. She says that it is simply “better than getting paid.” “It makes your heart feel like you’re doing something,” Anne describes. Anne’s positive energy and optimistic attitude make her a role model to everyone with whom she comes in contact. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and be a voice of reason for others. Although Anne misses her beloved family and friends who have passed, she continues to live every day to the fullest. Anne always finds the silver lining in any given situation. “I’ve got a lot more to do in this world,” she says.