" When I was visiting my mother-in-law who suffered from paralysis and aphasia (inability to speak and read) following a stroke, I offered to give a lift to a group of volunteers from the charity I was part of “Il Circolo”. Everytime I would have liked to split myself in many parts and be able to spend some time with the many other residents of Villa Scalabrini. I started to feel at home and I enjoyed the atmosphere of peace and order of this elderly home, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. With time, I got to know some of the residents and carers and we developed a certain familiarity.
When suddenly my mother-in-law sadly passed away, I decided I would continue to visit the residents and devote them some of my time and care. I wanted to try to alleviate their sadness helping to create and organize activities so as to stimulate their brain and make them feel still useful and important. Even a chat, a hug or a smile can make a lot in a life spent in a wheelchair often with the only hope of a swift and painless death.
But what struck me, was that I also received a lot back from them! Their smile, their strength and warmth made me feel important, too. And it’s in this mutual exchange that, I think, lays the real secret of charity work. "