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Susan Garcia-Feliciano

Susan Garcia-Feliciano

When Susan first moved to Cincinnati from Puerto Rico to take a job at Procter & Gamble, she wasn’t sure she was going to like the Queen City. But she was determined to build a life here and wanted something more for herself than her work.

Susan heard about our House and decided to attend an orientation session for volunteers. A few weeks later, she began volunteering at our House. It wasn’t long before “just looking for a hobby" became something she looked forward to every week. “It kind of feels like going to your grandmother’s on a Sunday. It’s a homey environment,” Susan says.

With her family far away in Puerto Rico, Susan isn’t able to see them very often. Luckily, the volunteers and staff she works with at our House quickly filled that void for her. So did the guest families.

Because she’s bilingual, Susan lends her skills by helping Hispanic guest families translate forms or by conveying information to them over the phone in Spanish. She also helps by simply giving them her time.

“A lot of the non-English-speaking families wait until I or one of the other Spanish-speaking volunteers are there to talk,” she says. “As soon as they see you are there, they come over – two or three at a time – just to talk about how their child is doing. It doesn’t cost me anything but it means everything for somebody.”

Two years after she started volunteering here, Susan now calls our House her home. She says doing volunteer work helps her keep her feet on the ground and reminds her that, even when she’s had a hard week, there are people dealing with worse.

Luckily for us, she’s also found a home in Cincinnati. 

“Something I admire about Cincinnatians is their willingness to help,” she says. “People take the money and time to do good things for others. It’s a very supportive community.”