Mazzoni Center’s Longest Tenured Employee Retires
On April 30, Mazzoni Center’s longest tenured employee, Minerva Caro, Director of Operations, retired, after nearly 23 years with the center. Before she left, we caught up with her to talk about her time with us.
When did you start working at Mazzoni Center?
I started with Mazzoni Center in August of 1996.
What was Mazzoni Center like then?
We were very small, only about 12 people in total. Sometimes we had to jump in to help wherever we could, as we didn’t have a large staff, or the funds to bring in more help. I still remember times when our emergency food cupboard had very little but we still tried to help as many people as we could. When a delivery did come, we’d all be in the back helping to unload the truck.
What is your favorite memory from your time here?
In the first few years, we had to do all our mailings in house by hand. We had a volunteer, Jimmy Calnan, who was a special education teacher and he would bring his students to help. It was a learning experience for them, as they would learn to take SEPTA, help with an office task, and we’d have a pizza party as a thank you. The kids were always so excited and proud of how they had learned to take the bus and help with the mailing. They would love the pizza party! I really enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm they brought with them. Ed. Note: Jimmy Calnan still volunteers with Mazzoni Center and has been doing so for 20+ years.
What is the biggest change in Mazzoni Center you’ve seen in the time you’ve been here?
The overall size of the agency and the wealth of programs we now offer. When I started we only had HIV testing during certain set hours and Case Management services. The food bank had really limited supplies. We didn’t have an education program, behavioral health, housing, legal services, medical services, gender affirming services or youth services. It’s amazing to look back and see where we are today.
We’d like to thank Minerva for her dedication to our mission. We wish her the very best as she embarks on this next adventure.
About Our Food Bank.
Mazzoni Center’s food bank opened in 1989. Today, the food bank distributes over 110 tons of food (approximately 44,000 meals) to clients in the Philadelphia region.
Our food bank is always in need of outside support to meet the needs of our clients. Please consider making a small donation to benefit our food bank by visiting: https://www.mazzonicenter.org/adhoc_content/campaign_donation_form/29. Or by texting 1Mazzoni to 56512, from your smartphone or mobile device*
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