A few years into my career there my husband and I adopted an eight year-old “senior” Shih Tzu. My long hours, including the commute to Sarasota, took a toll on our new addition. Something had to give.
My wise and wonderful then eighty plus year-old mother-in-law telephoned one day and said the Venice Friendship Centers’ nutrition department was hiring. She attended the Center for activities and the dining program on occasion. She suggested I apply as I lived close to the Center which would allow me more time with our senior dog.
I came to the Center to apply – initially hesitantly, as I knew little about the Friendship Centers. Almost immediately one of the staff said to me as I was filling out the application “Good luck, this is a great organization!” Upon further research and an interview, I knew this would be a good match. That was nearly 13 years ago.
For some the number 13 is considered unlucky, but obviously for me it has been very lucky.
I consider myself fortunate to continue to be involved in what is of vital importance, our nutrition program. I am honored to be a part of the heart of an organization that Brother Geenen started with a pot luck dinner. No matter our age it is never too late to eat well. It is also important to have a place to gather and people to be with for meals.
I often tell participants it is better to eat a hot dog on a paper plate with friends than to have a steak and lobster meal alone. I feel Brother Geenen, though now gone watches over us and he’s pleased that the mission continues and I am still a part of People Helping People.
About Cheryl Carpenter
Cheryl Carpenter is the Nutrition Services Manager for the Friendship Centers in Venice and South Sarasota County. Cheryl has a great passion for all things food related and sharing this with others.