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Blog: Stories and Insight

Reflecting on an Incredible Year

The Stories We’ve Shared

It’s been a difficult year thanks to COVID-19. But, through the stress of a pandemic, Samaritan provided uninterrupted services and celebrated 40 years of caring for the community. Enjoy this look back at 2020 through the stories we shared. We hope they serve as inspiration and show you the power of generosity, compassion, warmth, family, and exceptional care. Please share any that touch you!

The Joy of Family

Early in the pandemic, the strong bonds of Edilia O’Hara’s family were tested when she was transferred to The Samaritan Center at Voorhees and guidelines prevented visitors, but they found a creative way to be with the matriarch that made her smile light up the room. Read more >>


Busy Caregiver Finally Takes Care of Herself

Read about Krista Josepayt ’s grief journey and how grief counseling made all the difference. It helped her through her initial grief and prepared her for what was to come.  “It’s not just about grief and sadness. When you lose someone, you can also carry around anger, guilt, and many other emotions that counseling can help you process,” says Krista. “I felt so safe sharing my feelings and thoughts with the counselor. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her,” says Krista. Read now >>


Girl Scout “Pieces of Light” Project Comforts Families

Amanda McNally, Samaritan teen volunteer and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient,  doesn’t just try to change the world for the better, she changes it for good by tackling issues dear to her heart while driving lasting change in her community including making grief support backs and clay hearts for bereaved family members. Read more >>


Meet Samaritan Pet Therapy Volunteers

Samaritan offers pet therapy through already-certified dogs because seeing and touching a furry friend brings peace and joy to families and is a welcome distraction from serious illness and end of life. Read more about the volunteers who visit our patients and their families. Also enjoy two Facebook posts: Stanley, Ty & Gus Visit Voorhees and Django Visits Voorhees.

A Song Before Dying

Looking back to 2006 in honor of Samaritan’s 40th Anniversary. Marcia Glover-Banks, 41, leaves a legacy of song for her three young daughters with the help of Samaritan Music Therapist Brooke Carroll Lemchak. Brooke recently said, ““It’s been 14 years since I worked with Marcia and her daughters and I still remember Marcia’s positive, loving spirit. She was an amazing woman, with a strong love of God, who felt blessed for so many reasons even at the end of life.” Read more >>

Hospice Care for Aunt Inspires Volunteering

Longtime Volunteer Peggy Morgan donates to Samaritan because the impact of the care her aunt received decades ago was never forgotten. She’s also a passionate advocate for discussing your healthcare wishes. This became especially important when her husband became ill. When Steve became seriously ill, knowing exactly what his wishes were, she and her family were empowered to execute them. Peggy said about the experience, “I felt like I was speaking with Steve’s voice.” Read more >>

Dr. Goldfine and Mary Ann BoccoliniThird-Generation Physician Carries on Family Tradition

Looking back to 2011 in honor of Samaritan’s 40th Anniversary. Dr. Goldfine is leaving a compassionate legacy of care. Enjoy this story  about how he embraces families and is present for them during the end-of-life journey. Read more >>


Vinta GanjuThe Intersection of Faith and Volunteering

Dr. Vinita Ganju saw a need for end-of- life healthcare education, especially for the seniors, in her Hindu faith community. She took initiative and reached out to Samaritan to open the door to a discussion of faith and end-of-life care. Read more >>


Campbell’s Soup Collector Forgoes Chemo; Chooses Hospice

Betty’s assembly of collectibles from Campbell Soup Company takes up an entire room in her house, featuring everything from salt and pepper shakers and mugs to throw rugs and lamps. Thanks to Samaritan, Betty is able to stay at her home which also houses her extensive collection. Read more >>


Vietnam Veteran Tom Richards and hospice teamVietnam Veteran’s Humble Story

“I am honored to have been able to serve” said Thomas A. Richards, Vietnam War Veteran and Samaritan patient, during a special ceremony to honor his service to our country. Read more >>


Easing the Strain of Serious Illness with Palliative Care

Looking back to 2011 in honor of Samaritan’s 40th Anniversary. Bob Dambrowski an avid fisherman who enjoyed fishing trips with his brother and childhood buddies. But shortness of breath brought on my his emphysema then lung cancer made the activities he enjoyed difficult until Samaritan’s Palliative Medical Partners program helped. Read more >>


Only on Facebook

These moving stories were shared on Samaritan’s Facebook page this year.

We welcome you to like, love, comment on, or share any of these posts!

A Father’s Love is Never Forgotten

Five years after his passing, Ravi Mahadevan’s legacy continues to be that of a kind man, with an irrepressible love for life. His humbleness of spirit lives on through his son Ashwin and his influence is seen through his wife, Nandini Natrajan, and her passion as a Samaritan volunteer. Read more >>


Susan St Martin FamilyA Symbol of Love & Connection

In the short 24-hours Susan St. Martin stayed at The Samaritan Center at Voorhees, her family was so deeply touched that they decided to give back by making clay hearts for families. Read more>>


Memory BearsKeepsake Bears to Remember Mom

Catherine Skelly’s family was grateful for the care Samaritan provided their mother. As away for Catherine’s daughter, Cathy, to remember her mom,  Samaritan Social Worker reached out to Samaritan’s volunteer services department with a request for a volunteer to sew memory bears out of Catherine’s clothing. Read more >>


Clark Dingman: Samaritan’s First Executive Director

Looking back in honor of Samaritan’s 40th Anniversary. Clark Dingman, hired in 1982 as Samaritan’s first executive director, helped build the foundation of what hospice – and Samaritan – have become in the South Jersey community today. Read more >>


The Warmth of Family

A touching story about the importance of a warm circle of family, comfort at the end of life, and giving back to Samaritan. Read more >>


Hospice Care Gives Family Precious Time

For nine days, Arlene’s family surrounded her and embraced the joyful moments they had during those final days together at The Samaritan Center at Voorhees. The comfort, dignity, and attentive care inspired the family to give back to Samaritan. Read more >>


“Hospice is Nothing Like I Thought It Was”

Cardinals have always been deeply linked to concepts such as life and death, renewal and happiness. For Sandy Capell and her family, seeing a cardinal at the Samaritan Center at Voorhees on the day of their mom’s death gave them peace. Read more >>


All in the Family

The care Joan Byrne’s parents and husband received at the end of life inspired her to give back by volunteering with her Poodle and as a donor. Read more >>


Remembering Hospice Patient’s Beloved Dog

Dorothy Mazur is a long-time dog lover. When her hospice team learned that her most recent four-legged companion passed away, they didn’t hesitate to honor Tommy, a Vizsla, with a memorial ceremony. Read more >>


A Veteran’s Story: Sacrifice for Country And Family

When men and women go off to war, their families serve alongside them. While they don’t wear uniforms, they make sacrifices, too. Read this family’s story and how Samaritan was there to help. Read more>


Quick Errand Becomes Poignant Encounter

A moving story about Samaritan’s facilities manager encountering a grateful family member in home-improvement store. Read more >>


Finding Peace, Comfort, and Privacy

Read about the quiet, attentive care that Mick Long received that his partner of 20 years says was “Ultimately, the best decision I ever made in my life.” Read more >>


Taking Care of the Neighborhood Nana

Gertrude Klocek – known for her love of Christmas – cherishes her Samaritan care team that helps her live each day to the fullest and is grateful for her neighbors who work together to look out for their “Nana.” Read more >>


One Door Closes, Another Opens

As Samaritan Thrift in Pitman closes its doors for the last time, the store’s remaining fixtures and clothing help Fig Leaf Thrift shop open their doors. Read more >>


End-of-Life Birthday Wish to Go Home

An emotional story about how Samaritan’s palliative experts went above and beyond to get Ron home for his birthday. Read more >>