Volunteers Assist with MANA House Father’s Day Brunch

On June 15, eight volunteers from Phillips Law Group happily gave two hours of their Saturday to serve the veterans at a MANA House Father‘s Day brunch the day before the holiday. The event touched the hearts of all the volunteers in attendance and gave the veterans the organization works with an amazing way to enjoy Father’s Day.

“It’s Fun to Interact With Them”

volunteers pose in kitchen at mana house father's day brunch event

Phillips Law Group volunteers brought along Panera Bread meals and juice to serve to the veterans alongside fruit cups provided by the resident cook at MANA House. Sharon Mews, the firm’s Community Outreach Assistant, expressed, “This is my personal favorite part of volunteering at MANA House. When the residents come through the line, they are laughing and joking around.”

“You can see their personalities come through and it’s fun to interact with them,” she continued.

“I always have such a great time talking with the veterans and working in the lunch hall is one of my favorite parts of going to MANA House,” Olivia Aguilar, a Pre-Litigation Paralegal at Phillips Law Group, added. 

two volunteers pose in kitchen at mana house father's day brunch event

“Each veteran is such a joy to be around and they all have unique personalities. They always make me smile.”

Olivia was also able to give some informal advice to one veteran, and she revealed, “I felt happy not only to give my time to help serve in the kitchen but also to apply my knowledge from working at PLG to help him with his questions.” Another volunteer also provided the firm’s contact information to the individual in case he wanted to reach out for legal advice and assistance. 

Sharing Stories with MANA House Veterans

volunteers and others pose at mana house mural

Volunteers played games like Uno and Tumbling Towers at the event with the former servicemembers that MANA House serves, but mostly, they got the opportunity to listen to the stories of the veterans and spend meaningful time with them. One resident told Sharon the veterans really enjoy it when volunteers take the time to mingle with them, which Phillips Law volunteers are more than happy to do. 

Plus, volunteers brought backpacks with Cardinals football tumblers in them, along with Cardinals T-shirts, and a MANA House staff member also had tumblers from Starbucks to give to the residents, too. 

Another volunteer, Paulette Ray, an Accounting Specialist with the firm, noted that one veteran described his past experience with unconventional foods like possum soup and snake soup in the midst of her trying to find someone to play Uno with. The veterans always seem to have some interesting insight to share with our volunteers during our visits!

“I truly enjoy volunteering there and getting know to them,” she said.

Relating to One Another

veteran being served brunch at mana house

One man Sharon spoke with at the MANA House Father’s Day brunch event also explained he had lost sight in one eye and was unable to afford drops in his other eye for glaucoma.

“I can relate, as I also have glaucoma in my eyes, and take drops,” she explained. “We could really relate to each other’s struggles.”

That same individual said, “I know there is always someone worse off than me,” displaying a wonderful outlook on life despite his challenges.

Although so many of the veterans MANA House serves were unable to be with their kids on Father’s Day, the MANA House Father’s Day brunch gave them a memorable way to enjoy the day anyway. 

“We have the best time when we go to MANA House,” Sharon said. 

“Together, our team would love to think we made a difference for the Fathers at MANA House.”

volunteers in kitchen at mana house

If you’d like to help out at the next MANA House volunteer opportunity, or with any of our community service events, please contact us today to get in touch and learn more about how you, too, can make a difference.