Pictured above, from left: Erin Jansky, Gerard Piscitelli, Pat Coulter, and Alex Corrales at the presentation of the Worcester Housing Authority’s first “Giving Back Award.”
Gerard Piscitelli, a trained and seasoned Early Response Team (ERT) leader and member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester, MA, and his colleague and fellow plasterer at the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA), Pat Coulter, were honored in late December 2018 with the WHA’s first “Giving Back Award.”
Piscitelli and Coulter were recognized for their service to others in the community and globally.
Over the years, Piscitelli has visited a number of states and countries after natural disasters to provide assistance as part of an ERT, using his vacation days and often his own funding, most recently with a team in Puerto Rico. His background as a tradesman has enabled him to make professional-grade improvements, becoming an invaluable resource and earning him a leadership role.
Piscitelli started doing this as a way to give back and pay it forward. From the beginning, he has spread the word to others and, as a result, inspired Coulter to join him. This is work that both have come to truly enjoy and see themselves continuing well into the future.
New England Conference Disaster Response & Mission Coordinator and UMCOR trainer Barbara Burnside added that she has seen both of these men in the field responding with compassion and expertise.
“They are always among the first to volunteer when I put out a call for help, whether the disasters are small or large, local or faraway, she said.”
The WHA is a public non-profit in Worcester that receives state and federal funding to offer public housing for low-income families and the disabled, as well as transitional housing and support for homeless families. The WHA provides and maintains almost 3,000 public housing apartments in 24 developments.
In presenting the award, Erin Jansky, WHA Director of Human Resources, and Executive Director Alex Corrales said, “We here at the WHA are very proud of the work both Gerard and Pat do dedicating their time to help those in need.”
In fact, the WHA was so inspired by Piscitelli and Coulter, they have asked the New England Conference to offer an ERT training at their headquarters for those interested in volunteering.