Daily Point of Light # 2405 Apr 24, 2003

The mission of the Westwood Service Bank (WSB) is to provide a variety of personal services to the elderly of Westwood, free of charge. Roy Chiulli is the highly energetic Manager of the WSB. Under his leadership, the WSB averages well over 50 service projects and in excess of 65 service hours each month. The tasks are many and varied. Volunteers do grocery shopping, lawn work, shoveling, home repairs, putting out trash and recycle containers, providing rides, meal delivery and general errand running.

The most valuable service that Roy and the WSB provide is spending time with elderly residents. They build relationships with these men and women whom they also serve. The new friendships provided needed emotional support and encouragement. Chiulli has arranged with the Westwood Senior Center that the WSB can be called for urgent requests as well as one-time service needs; however, his goal is to build continual relationships with the elderly.

In addition to serving the elderly, Chiulli has been able to mobilize widespread community support. In April 2002 one volunteer project focused on helping several widows that the WSB serves regularly. One of the widows the WSB serves sees her neighbors dumping trash in her yard; and it piles up. Chiulli and his volunteers went to the neighbors explaining their project that day. Because of their education, many of the widow’s neighbors came out to help clean her yard that day. Not only was the project accomplished, but also a neighborhood partnership was formed. The hope is that working to clean the lot will help reinforce not dumping in the first place.

Through his mobilization efforts, Chiulli has successfully arranged for the WSB, Saint Denis’s Church, a Pop Warner Cheerleader squad, a 7th grade girls basketball team, a Westwood Cub Scout group, teens from the local high schools, Youth Ministries at Saint Denis and Saint Mary’s Churches and volunteers from Temple Beth David to work as a team and serve at the Westwood Food Pantry. In addition, the group will also clean the yards of the elderly residents and handle other small chores.

Chiulli receives no compensation for his work. All his service is purely volunteer; however it is still performed with such dedication and commitment. He has worked to build a relationship of service with the underserved elderly population in Westwood, and now because of his efforts, the Westwood Council on Aging gets a steady stream of calls requesting the help of the WSB.