MONSIGNOR FARRELL HS

The Visiting Brother Society

Written on 04/08/2020
The Lion Staff

Service Club Organized by Nikolas Greenberg '20


Pictured above: Senior Nikolas Greenberg visits with an Eger resident via virtual meeting.

The Visiting Brother Society brings smiles to nursing home residents through virtual visits


Students at Monsignor Farrell High School are bringing joy and companionship to residents at a Staten Island nursing home through virtual visits during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Oakwood high school’s Visiting Brother Society, a service club founded by senior Nikolas Greenberg, works to make sure residents of Eger Health Care and Rehabilitation Center still have “visitors” while a state mandate bans in-person visits to nursing home facilities.



Students are using FaceTime, Skype, and other video conference platforms to speak with residents virtually from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Staff at Eger Health Care -- who are supervising and observing the virtual calls -- were excited to connect students with residents.
 
“Being able to have students from Monsignor Farrell High School talk to the residents at Eger Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is such an eye-opener to how many people are helping out in a time of need for our residents,” said Stephanie Berman, therapeutic recreation director at Eger.


Danita S., an Eger resident, described the virtual visits as “reaching out without touching hands.”

“I felt that the resident that I connected with was very happy to speak to someone, especially with everything going on right now and her family not being able to visit,” said sophomore Daniel Verticchio.
 
Senior Steven Pasquale said he connected with a resident after learning she was also a bowler when she was in high school.  “I am sure that she and I are off to a good start,” he said.


Once the health crisis ends and visitation is allowed once again, students in the Visiting Brother Society will go to Eger Health Care, and in groups of two to three students, will meet with a resident and establish or continue a relationship.

“I am so proud of Nikolas [Greenberg] and the members of the Visiting Brother Society for being shining examples of our school motto, Vir Fidelis, the faithful man,” said Louis R. Tobacco, president and CEO of Monsignor Farrell High School. “I am overwhelmed with stories of how our current students are providing assistance to members of the Staten Island community who are in need.”



About The Visiting Brother Society

  • Our mission:

In nursing homes, there are many lonely elderly who get few, if any, visitors. The mission of this club is to bring the service of Farrell men to these people.

During this COVID-19 crisis, there are no visitations allowed to residents at nursing homes. As such, there are many who are lonely. The mission of the club is to bring a smile to the resident’s faces and let them know that there is someone thinking about them. Once this crisis is over and visitation is once again allowed, the Visiting Brother Society will go to Eger Health Care and, in pairs of 2-3, meet with a resident and establish or continue a relationship.

  • How will this club meet its goals?

The staff and Residents at Eger are excited to put us in contact with residents to bring a smile to their faces. The method of contact would likely be Facetime, Skype, or a similar video chat platform.  The length of the chats and the number of residents is dependent on the number of students that become involved.

  • How often will the club meet?

As often as is agreed upon by Eger Health Care and the students involved.

  • How can students apply?

Students can apply by emailing ngreenberg20@msgrfhs.org

Club created by: Nikolas Greenberg '20

Club Moderator: Fr. Pomeisl

*"Virtual visits" are and observed by the professional staff at Eger.