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Yes! That’s right! 35 years! Since May 5, 1986, Barbara McPhaul has been a vital member of our extended family here at Holy Family Home!
Barb is a real “Philly Girl” with a warm Southern Heart. She was born in Laurinburg, NC but moved to Philadelphia when she was seven. However, every summer was spent in the South.
Caring is second nature to Barb. Even before graduating from John Bartram High, from age 14 to 16, she was a day camp volunteer. Over the years, she has continued to work actively in her church’s outreach to the needy.
At her first paid employment, “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Barbara’s organizational skills and reliability earned her a responsible position. After the birth of her son, her only child, she attended Philadelphia Training School and began to work for an Agency as a C.N.A. That was in 1983. Then, for the next two years, Park Pleasant Nursing Home profited of her CNA skills.
May 5, 1986 was the beginning of her 35 years of uninterrupted service at Holy Family Home, hand-in-hand with innumerable Little Sisters of the Poor. She was a C.N.A. on the 2nd floor the first two years. Then she became Medical Secretary. Eventually, she passed the Certified Medical Technician Course. It was in November of 2003 that Barbara brought her enthusiasm and efficiency to the Personal Care Unit on the Fourth Floor in addition to her being Medical Secretary for the whole Home.
Even while giving of herself so wholeheartedly at Holy Family Home, she found the time and energy, from 2004 to 2017, to work every other weekend as a residential coordinator for the mentally disturbed and HIV patients at “Resources for Human Development.” She was able to bring the wealth of experience she gained at this part-time position to her interactions at Holy Family.
For Barbara, service has always meant: regular attendance, coming even ahead of time and staying overtime when needed, constant caring, bringing Christian charity to her dealings with others, working with energy even when having her own heartaches and physical pain, initiative, going the extra mile, foreseeing needs of Residents and fellow workers, collaborating, responding to emergencies, overlooking mishaps, forgiving and turning the other cheek, thoughtfulness in remembering birthdays and other special occasions, compassion when learning of the suffering of Residents, their families, and her co-workers, taking time to listen, play a game, or smooth a situation with a sense of humor. Here are a few concrete examples of her dedication to caring:
• Jane P. said, “I’ll never forget telling Barbara that my feet were cold. The next morning, I woke up wearing three pairs of socks!”
• Maureen S. recalls with a tear in her eye, “She has been a true friend to me!”
• Sr. Kathleen is grateful for the way Barbara worked with both her Mom and her Dad. “. . . Especially my father, who came to Holy Family Home physically weak but strongly sticking to his racist outlook. Barb was one of those who converted him with kindness. After nine years here he died peacefully, free of all bigotry. When I came back to my hometown after 50 years and was assigned to the Fourth Floor, Barb’s presence made for a warm welcome.”
• Sr. Veronica has many memories of Barb’s great collaboration when she was the Little Sister on the Fourth Floor.
Barbara McPhaul certainly deserves the grateful recognition of Residents, Little Sisters, and Staff— with prayerful best wishes they go forward!
I have been in Philadelphia for over twenty years and it’s been a privilege. For the last two years, my brother has been living in the independent apartments, and that, too, is a great joy for me.
What happiness for me to be a Little Sister of the Poor!
I love everything here! But one story really tells it all: we had home-made Irish bread, which was delicious, and I said it. People don’t really listen anymore, because I like EVERYTHING. When I got back to my room, though, I found some extra slices of that Irish bread wrapped up in tin foil! I have no idea who put it there. Now isn’t that sweet?!