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Western Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of neighborhood, personal and community commitment. Our pride in pulling together goes far beyond supporting our deep-rooted sports teams. 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference honors the individuals that are making a difference in people's lives on the ground level and reminding us we are all truly a part of each other's lives.This special series, supported by UPMC, will highlight, honor and celebrate Western Pennsylvanians who are unsung heroes daring to make a difference to others in our community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770c8000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770ca000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cc000090.5 WESA PA listening area counties:Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fayette, Indiana00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cd0000This project is made possible by a generous contribution from UPMC.

Sometimes A Smile Is The Most Important Part Of Giving Help To Someone In Need

Mark Nootbaar
90.5 WESA
Joyce Rabinovitz answers phones and greets visitors at the North Hills Community Outreach main office. It is just one of several volunteer positions she holds.

If you walk through the doors of the North Hills Community Outreach office in Allison Park, it's very possible that it will be Joyce Rabinovitz who greets you with a smile. According to the charity, Rabinovitz has logged more than 3,000 volunteer hours with NHCO, since 2007.

“She’s awesome,” said Cheryl English, executive assistant of the North Hills Community Outreach. “She is really great with the clients and the donors. She knows where to direct them how to direct them … She’s always caring, always concerned and her compassion for her fellow man always comes through.”

The retired nurse said she was used to working with the public and helping in her professional life. Once she retired, she decided to start volunteering her time.

“My hope is to make a difference,” Rabinovitz said.

Often people first come in contact with NHCO and Rabinovitz at a very stressful moment in their lives.  They might have recently lost a job, or just gotten out of the hospital and are facing huge bills. Rabinovitz said they are often crying and scared, so she tries to help.

“I don’t find it depressing. I just try to help people be the best they can be,” Rabinovitz said.

That often starts with a little empathy.

“You think, ‘What would I do if I didn’t have enough money and they were sending me notices that they were turning off one of my utilities? What would I do now?’” Rabinovitz said. 

Rabinovitz also volunteers at NHCO’s Community Auto program. In fact, she was the first volunteer and helped to move the program off of paper files and into a computerized system. She also spends hours of her time at the Vincentian Home in McCandless helping seniors get their life stories onto paper through the Book of Life program.

“These people are so wonderful,” Rabinovitz said. “As anyone else, they have had their ups and downs in their lives, but they have all had rich, rewarding lives. Even the ones who can no longer communicate with you can still communicate with their warmth.”

“As long as I am able to function, I’ll be doing something to volunteer,” Rabinovitz said.