Dave Braun: “An Introvert” Steps Out to Give Back
In the six years that his father lived at St. Ann’s Home, Dave Braun got to spend lots of time learning about the community. The care and compassion the staff showed his father made Dave want to give back.
He’s been doing just that every week for the past 13 years as a St. Ann’s Home volunteer. He began by transporting residents in wheelchairs to and from activities, making new friends in the process. A few years ago he had knee replacement surgery, but that didn’t stop him. After rehabbing in the Wegman Transitional Care Center at St. Ann’s, Dave began visiting residents in their rooms and chatting about the old days.
“I am more of an introvert,” says Dave. “I help start the conversation and then they do a lot of the talking.” His favorite part is hearing residents share their memories and exchanging stories about their experiences during World War II.
One particular resident, Sam, loved to play the harmonica. Dave happened to hear him one day and struck up a conversation. Soon Dave began joining in on his guitar, and the two would delight passersby in the lobby with their performances.
Dave’s painting of roses at Maplewood Park is dedicated to his father.
“Dave is a great volunteer visitor, because he has the gift of being a good listener,” says Barb Joyce, Manager of Volunteer Services. “He listens attentively to our residents and really gets to know them.”
When not volunteering at St. Ann’s, Dave loves to paint and travels to parks around the state for inspiration. One of his paintings, of the roses at Maplewood Park, hangs in the lobby conference room of St. Ann’s Home and is dedicated to his father, George Braun.
When asked why he keeps coming back to visit residents, Dave was quick to reply: “The people. They are all very nice and everyone says hello.”
He’s made a lot of friends over 13 years and plans to continue making more.
Volunteers donate the equivalent of $2 million in service hours each year to St. Ann’s Community. Interested in becoming a volunteer? Contact Barbara Joyce at (585) 697-6523 or [email protected]