Montserrat Student Thomas Rutigliano (’21) Starts a New Internship

July 29, 2020

Photo Taken by Jamie Campos

Montserrat student Thomas Rutigliano (‘21) has recently started a new internship for the Beverly Council on Aging. For the past three weeks (and through to September) Thomas is helping volunteers make curbside visits to those who would, in more ordinary circumstances, be visiting the Beverly Senior Center.
Since the Senior Center closed on March 13th, there have been fewer options for many of its usual attendees to socialize. So the Council on Aging decided to bring the Senior Center to the seniors. The Senior Center staff have visited 41 seniors since the effort began, with Thomas joining them for three days (and 20 visits) a week. His responsibility has been to take porch-side portraits to document the visits so that both the Center and the senior themselves can have a copy. The Council on Aging hopes to put the collected photos together in the future—though whether digitally or in a printed book is still to be determined.
All of the visits are conducted in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Per Executive Director MaryAnn Holak, their original concern at the beginning of the pandemic was ensuring the seniors had enough food (and the volunteers recently been able to bring the senior fresh produce from the Center’s community garden plot). Now they’re more concerned with keeping the seniors’ spirits up and keeping in touch. “Most are doing okay,” she said.
“It has brightened my day up,” Thomas said of the visits, “making all of these elderly people’s days and listening to their stories.”
To read more about the Council on Aging’s visits to seniors, check out the recent article on the project in the Salem News.