Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Sister Dorothy Kundracik

Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Sister Dorothy Kundracik
By Michele Ristich Gatts

“You have more need to serve others than they need to be served,” says Sister Dorothy Kundracik.

Sister Dorothy, standing, on a home visit with two of the ladies involved with SCOPE of Trumbull County.

“When you are blessed with health, care for others.”

She lives her ministry as an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown doing just that. And, she says there’s a need for others to help her.

As an employee of SCOPE (Senior Citizens Opportunity for Personal Endeavor), she’s part of the new initiative Support Our Seniors, or SOS.  She and her team are visiting 220 homebound senior citizens in Trumbull County, Ohio, who benefit from SCOPE’s Traveling Pantry.

Team members help the seniors, who have limited opportunities for both transportation and aid, find insurance plans that best fit their incomes and needs, inform them about prescription services that can deliver to their door, and determine what other unmet needs they may have.

“I ask a variety of questions regarding transportation, house chores, personal care and safety to assess the needs of the seniors,” Sister Dorothy says. “The seniors appreciate having someone who cares about them to visit, question and give suggestions.”

Sister Dorothy’s team began visiting people in apartment complexes in early 2018 and is also visiting home owners. The program and Traveling Pantry evolved, she says, when she found out too many seniors could no longer come to the on-site food pantry for various reasons.

“As we assess the needs of these people, we hope to further create a roster of safe home repair contractors to help those in homes with their issues,” she explains. “We hope to develop better relationships between churches and agencies meant to serve the many senior citizens in Trumbull County. The demand has almost outgrown the supply, and now [SCOPE personnel] are struggling to get sufficient food and funding.

“I look forward to these visits and hope to serve more needs as our team moves through this process. Pray for the cooperation of agencies, churches, and individuals who might come forward to meet their needs in these summer and fall months. The Gospel asks us to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves,’ and unless we are living this gospel, life has no higher purpose,” she continues.

Sister Dorothy says many of the seniors are in need of home and appliance repairs, yard work, furniture and house cleaning supplies. “If you cannot provide service, money will be needed to fill these needs,” she comments. “May we meet in the middle and champion the cause. The harvest is plenty and the workers are few.”

Sister Dorothy was first inspired to consider religious life in the 5th grade. She’s been an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown for nearly 60 years. To learn more about Sister Dorothy and her ministry, view her Vocation Story video on our YouTube channel.