GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – For over 20 years, Sister Jean Orsuto has dedicated her life to helping people in need. Now, she is stepping into retirement.
“It’s time to move on and to let other people carry on this ministry,” she said.
Sister Jean, 77, is currently the director of Emmanuel Community Care Center, a center that works to provide food, clothing, housing assistance and more to those in need.
Prior to working at the center, Sister Jean worked as a nurse in several hospitals. Her focus was working with women and children, and she worked regularly with people who came from underserved communities.
“I always knew when I wasn’t going to do nursing administration any longer, that I wanted to do something to work directly with people who needed help,” she said.
Sister Jean says the Emmanuel Community Care Center helps provide housing for people who are homeless or have some type of disability such as mental health issues or substance abuse. She says many of them have children, and helping them has been the greatest part of the job for her.
“You might have a minimal impact on the adult, but you help them try to turn their lives around, but you’re making life better for the children,” she said.
Sister Jean says she was planning to retire three years ago, but then the pandemic hit and she felt it wasn’t the right time to switch management. Although she will work her last day on June 30, she doesn’t plan to stop giving back.
“I’m going to try to do some volunteer work. I’m still going to be doing some grant opportunities for Humility of Mercy Health Emmanuel Center, and also some development work as a volunteer,” she said.
Sister Jean said although she doesn’t see herself just sitting at home, she promised she will also take some time to relax.
She also wants people to know that the work and assistance to the community will continue.
“The work that I have done here and the work that I do, it’s not me doing it. There’s a team of people that have done this work for many years also. That team is still in place,” she said.
Ruthann Mathews is taking over operations at Emmanuel Community Care Center.
“We’re still here. We love donations. We love the support of the community. We’re just letting people know that we’re still here. Sister Jean has done a phenomenal job,” Mathews said.
Anyone who is interested in reaching out to Emmanuel Community Care Center for help can call the center at 330-545-4301. They primarily serve Girard, Liberty, Mineral Ridge and McDonald.