Alie Schreiber ’13
Peter’s Retreat is a Hartford organization that provides a safe haven for impoverished men and women living with HIV and AIDS. David Pierce ’13 and Nicole Sagullo ’14 run a community service program for Trinity students to volunteer at Peter’s Retreat every other week.
Peter’s Retreat was founded in 1988 with the goal of “helping individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS to receive the comprehensive and compassionate services necessary to live healthier lives and break the cycle of homelessness.” Peter’s Retreat is a subset of larger charitable group called Hands on Hartford, part of an international volunteer alliance.
Describing their patients they say that, “All individuals who come to Peter’s Retreat live in poverty, are HIV positive or living with AIDS, have histories of homelessness, and nearly always have other complicating health problems and disabilities. No one is denied housing because of an inability to pay.”
This unbelievable organization relies on volunteers to help their mission. HIV and AIDS are very isolating diseases. Volunteers allow the patients to interact with the Hartford community, which is an invaluable gift.
When Trinity students volunteer, they usually socialize with residents and help clean or decorate. Students also
go to special events such as a pumpkin carving party on Halloween.
When asked why he volunteers with the organization, Pierce ’13 explained, “I enjoy going to b Peter’s Retreat because the people are so appreciative. They just like having you there. It’s fun to get to know the residents on a personal level.”
Sagullo ’14 added, “Peter’s Retreat is an incredible opportunity. The residents are so light-hearted and fun to be around despite their circumstances. They make me laugh and enjoy spending time with the volunteers. I feel appreciated, and I love being involved in the community. But I feel like I get something back too.”
Volunteers go to Peter’s Retreat almost every other Friday at 2:30 p.m. until about 4:30 p.m., but you do not need to attend every time. This is a great way to interact with the Hartford community and truly help a group in need.
For more information on how to volunteer, contact Nicole Sagullo at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Pierce at email@example.com.