Meet Patrick Moran, who recently celebrated his 34th year at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He spent his first 19 years in the Facilities' Carpentry Shop. His current role as Facilities Project Manager involves coordinating large and small moves, furniture installations and small construction projects. In addition, Pat has been supporting the CHOP COVID-19 testing sites since March. He started at Karabots and later transitioned to Roberts and Woodland, making sure the collected specimens are safely delivered to the lab and staff at testing sites have all the supplies they need. "This has been a great and refreshing experience for me. I rarely have the opportunity to work closely with health care workers. I have great respect for all the health care workers on the front line," he said.
Pat has made volunteering an important part of his life. "I spent 15 years coaching youth sports when my two children were young. After that, I had free time and started volunteering," he said. Pat volunteered for the Diocese of Camden Catholic Charities for many years, where he had the opportunity to go to New Orleans for a week in 2006 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina by cleaning, gutting and renovating homes. Over the past three years, he has been volunteering for Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP), a nonprofit that provides home repairs for low-income Philadelphia homeowners. RTP is a critical partner in the Community Asthma Prevention Program Plus Home Repairs (CAPP+), a program developed to address the impact of unhealthy housing on pediatric asthma outcomes in West Philadelphia neighborhoods. CAPP+, a program under of CHOP's Healthier Together Initiative, is designed to tackle social determinants of health as a path to improving the health of children.
Pat learned about RTP through his Director. "My Director and Supervisor have always supported us and encouraged our team to volunteer," he said. Pat received safety training from RTP prior to starting his work in the community and has since participated in multiple Block Build events, where paid workers (plumbers, electricians, etc.) and volunteers come together for a weekend to help repair homes in a particular block. He has also participated in many single home repairs.
Just a few weeks ago, he assisted in inspecting and repairing a CAPP+ home, which was identified as having a high risk for asthma triggers, affecting children in the home. "Many of the home owners we help are seniors, individuals with disabilities, families going through a hard time and houses where asthma is prevalent. Our work helps them hold on to their home," he said.
Pat's motivation for volunteering comes from his family. "My parents always told us, you have to help people out. You can't ignore the family down the street that is having a tough time," he said. Volunteering for RTP has given Pat the opportunity to use his carpentry skills again, teach others how to use tools, and meet great individuals also there to donate their time. He feels a sense of gratification every time he helps a family. "Every family that I have come across have been very thankful. I wonder what would happen to these families if they didn't receive this support. They may not be able to stay in their homes," he said.
His favorite memory volunteering with RTP was finishing the work during a weekend long Block Build. As he looked down the street, he saw all the large flower pots made and placed in front of each house they worked on. The view of those beautiful flower pots struck him, knowing they helped so many families.
His advice for CHOP employees that want to start volunteering is to get started and find someone to go with you. "The hardest is getting started. Do the first day. If you don't like it, you can try something else. Go with a buddy. Find another co-worker or friend from home. It takes that awkwardness away from being the new guy and walking into a group," he said.
Thank you, Pat, for all that you do to help our communities.