Dominos & Day of Service Change New Yorkers’ Lives

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Who knew playing dominos could make such a difference in a lonely person’s life? But that is exactly what volunteers at one of Catholic Charities’ group homes for the mentally ill found out during our special Archdiocesan Day of Service last Saturday, April 20, 2017 to honor Catholic Charities’ Centennial.  They, along with hundreds of fellow volunteers, shared laughs and love as they fanned out from Staten Island to Sullivan County painting murals, stocking food pantries, cleaning parks and yes; even playing dominos.

Check out this first-person account by Sandy Mormile, director of our Beacon of Hope Staten Island community residence for adults with mental illness.

By Sandy Mormile

Catholic Charities Director of Staten Island/Brooklyn Services 


Sometimes it is difficult to get our clients interested in participating in various activities.  But on Saturday’s “Day of Service” we had the whole kitchen in our Beacon of Hope House filled with clients, volunteers and staff playing Uno, Dominos, etc. The laughter going on in the room was unbelievable.

Yes, Game Day was a huge success in Staten Island on Saturday!  The volunteers who came were absolutely wonderful.  They had such a good time playing games with the clients.  

In fact everyone – clients, staff and volunteers – all had such a wonderful time.  We had pizza and then made ice cream sundaes with all the toppings.  In the living room we had other games being played and music in the air.   

The volunteers said they enjoyed themselves tremendously and the day far exceeded their expectations. There were a number of them who want to continue volunteering with the Beacon of Hope. They asked if they could volunteer and do more game days/nights during the month. We also had one man who wanted to help out anyway he could, and even said he would come and join Joe the cook to assist him each week.  

One man summed it up beautifully...

He said he came here to give whatever he could to our clients…. but never imagined the gift he got back by the love and caring he felt in the room, seeing the clients enjoying themselves, and everyone smiling and having fun.

Check out these photos of volunteer events throughout the archdiocese on our Facebook page.

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