In 1986, social worker Mary Ann Collins and a few other women from St Gertrude parish realized that their older Edgewater neighbors needed broader community assistance with grocery shopping and getting to/from medical appointments and procedures. Thus, the Heart to Heart Seniors Ministry was born.
The mission of Heart to Heart is to provide screened and caring volunteers who assist older adults throughout the Edgewater/Rogers Park neighborhoods so that they can remain independent and connected to our community for as long as possible. This contact with our staff and volunteers also reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness which so many of our seniors are experiencing. Additional volunteer services can now include visiting seniors, making well-being telephone calls to them, and sending greeting cards celebrating important events in their lives. When needed, we also make referrals to supportive services and/or public agencies on behalf of seniors who need them.
All Heart to Heart staff members and volunteers have completed VIRTUS training, a program created by the Catholic Church and monitored by staff of our Archdiocese to protect vulnerable populations such as Seniors. Additionally, our volunteers and staff must also complete ongoing monthly VIRTUS trainings to maintain compliance with this program. Each volunteer and staff member has received all COVID-19 vaccinations currently available.
Our volunteers thus enrich their own lives by sharing their abilities and talents to make a real difference in the lives of the seniors they serve.
Heart to Heart is a ministry grown at St. Gertrude that serves some of our most vulnerable residents in Edgewater—our senior citizens. Staffed by director Jane Callahan-Moore, the outreach program’s mission is to help seniors who need minimal assistance to enable them to remain independent in their home. Heart to Heart completes assessments and connects our seniors in need to community services and agencies that can assist them with financial and home care functions.
In addition, the Heart to Heart program offer a limited range of services, however, this is limited due to COVID. With the help of these dedicated staff and volunteers, we've been able to help hundreds of older persons live quality, dignified, independent lives in their own home.
Equally as important as tending to basic needs is the human connection that Heart to Heart provides to the lonely, poor, or those in need. Social Services at St. Gertrude is about showing love and care to them through a listening ear, a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand. It’s about putting faith into action by loving our neighbors and tending to their needs.
If you are a senior in need or care for an older person that may need Heart to Heart’s services, please call the Heart to Heart office at 773.973.5464 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-2:30 pm. Call 773.973.5464 to speak to the Heart-to-Heart team during regular office hours, OR to leave a voicemail message when the office is closed. Voicemail is checked regularly.
Additionally, Heart to Heart offers a medical lending closet. Items available include walkers, with and without wheels, crutches, wheelchairs, and portable commodes. Please call please call the Rectory at 773.764.3621 for a list of available items or to schedule an appointment to pick-up or drop-off items.
Please consider supporting our work by volunteering or making a donation to Heart to Heart in church, at the Rectory, or online here: https://www.givecentral.org/location/8/event/606. Donations made with a check should be made payable to St. Gertrude Parish with Heart to Heart written in the memo line. Thank you for supporting our work!
Heart to Heart Office
6214 N. Glenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
Our Heart to Heart staff works on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-2:30 pm.
Call 773.973.5464 to speak to the Heart-to-Heart team during regular office hours, OR to leave a voicemail message when the office is closed. Voicemail is checked regularly.
Please call to schedule an appointment with the staff, particularly if you need to get or drop off durable medical equipment from the Lending Closet. Do not drop off these items at the Rectory.
Requests for Hospital Visits
If you (or a family member) is hospitalized and want a visit by a church staff member, please call the Heart to Heart office. Because of government regulations, hospital, nursing homes, etc. cannot contact us with this information. Heart to Heart staff will then notify the Rectory.
In October, we assisted people from 14 Chicagoland zip codes who were recovering from surgery, families caring for family members with mobility issues and in need of extensive assistance with daily tasks (including bathing, toileting, and eating), and home health outreach workers (including OTs, PTs, social workers, and RNs).
We have provided a local homeless encampment with mobility equipment for residents in need, a nursing home resident with personal care products she couldn't afford, Community Health (the largest volunteer-based health clinic in the nation) with nebulizers, CPAP breathing machines and masks, and a Cook County care coordinator with supplies for her outreach work. The vast majority of people we serve have limited resources and are often in need of equipment or supplies for extended periods of time.
Donations came in from people who live in eight different zip codes, most of whom have recently lost family members or close friends. Over and over again, we are told how much it means to surviving family members/friends that durable medical equipment and supplies that helped their loved ones can now be used by someone else in need. The generosity of people grieving the loss of a friend or family member is tremendously moving and greatly appreciated.
Laurie Hasbrook, Lending Closet manager, can be reached by telephone at 773.973.5464 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-2:30 pm or by appointment, while Jane Callahan-Moore answers calls Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on her cell phone (773.595.9992).
September events sponsored by our staff included the second of three workshops creating notarized legal documents such as powers of attorney, wills, etc., for our Edgewater neighbors. Pro bono attorneys from the Center for Elder and Disability Law completed these vital documents onsite in our Ministry Center. Our dedicated volunteers continued to make weekly telephone calls to our homebound seniors and assisted them with grocery shopping and getting them to and from medical appointments. We are so grateful to have them on our team!
An integral part of our Heart to Heart Seniors Ministry is our free Lending Closet serving all of Chicagoland and dispensing loans and occasional gifts of durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, rollator walkers, knee scooters, tub transfer benches, shower stools, commodes, canes, and incontinence supplies. This month, we dispensed 37 pieces of this equipment to 23 individuals in14 zip codes and accepted 16 donations from families who no longer needed these loans for their loved ones. We also helped to connect a family wishing to donate a hospital bed to a family greatly in need of one.
A Blue Cross/Blue Shield van brought one woman, aged 83, to our door to pick up some medical equipment. And another woman drove up to us from 91st Street to obtain some equipment for her father’s homecoming from Weiss Hospital after treatment for a stroke. In a note we received from her, she had this to say: “Thank you soooo much for your kindness and generosity…Everything worked out perfectly and I can’t wait for my father’s return home. On behalf of my father, myself and my family, we want to say once again, a super thank you to you, Heart to Heart, and St. Gertrude for your donation”.
Laurie Hasbrook can be reached by telephone at 773.973.5464 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-2:30 pm or by appointment, while Jane Callahan-Moore answers calls Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on her cell phone (773.595.9992).
Did you know that there is a special and valued ministry that needs participants, particularly our homebound and physically-restricted parishioners? There are no meetings or dues required, yet the members have a valued connection to parish life by enriching others and themselves through their own dedicated, daily prayer time!
It works like this—we provide our committed participants with a prayer book and a monthly guide sheet reflecting some of the prayer requests taken from St. Gertrude Church’s Prayer Wall. Our prayer angels become an unseen blessing for so many! We welcome anyone’s interest in this caring ministry. Call Jane
Callahan-Moore at 773.973.5464 for more information.
This weekend, we are celebrating Fr. Mike Bradley and his many years of service as a priest and his time at St. Gertrude as he retires!