Amherstview woman puts heart and soul into laundry

Amherstview woman puts heart and soul into laundry

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Gisele Van Putten works hard to be a good person.

Looking through eyes surrounded by laugh lines, Gisele would rather hug than shake hands. She smiles often and talks with enthusiasm around a slight French accent.

Speaking from Helen Henderson Care Centre where she has worked in the Laundry Department for the past 20 years, kindness radiates off her in gentle waves.

“I like it. I’m comfortable with it,” she says when asked about her work at the accredited retirement lodge and long-term care home. “I’m just happy to be here.”

Born and raised in Montreal, the 72-year-old is grateful for the opportunity to work at a job she loves.

With nine siblings in her family (and a lifetime of work at a convent and retirement home), Gisele knows how to clean a large volume of clothes daily.

“Be organized,” she says with confidence. “You have to respect another person’s property.”

Speaking on a cold afternoon in March, Gisele finds personal satisfaction when she locates the occasional misplaced laundry item.

“The residents are very happy when I find something that was lost. It always makes me laugh to see their happiness. It’s silly to some, but to me, it’s good.”

“Gisele is very good at her job,” says Jack Staszak, Maintenance Manager. “Her commitment to Helen Henderson Care Centre is greatly appreciated, as well as her consistent professionalism. She is an important member of the Laundry Department. ”

Gisele blushes when she hears she is the home’s Employee of the Month for April.

“I sure appreciate whoever put in a good word for me,” she says gratefully. “There’s a lot of people here who deserve this award. I appreciate the recognition because it makes my work worthwhile.”

Mother of three, Gisele lost her husband to illness approximately nine years ago after 45 years of marriage. She talks about her late husband with love and respect.

“It was like yesterday,’ she says about his passing. “Time goes by so slowly. He was quite a man. He left me with so many good memories. I was very lucky so why be sad? If you have a good life, good memories and good kids, it’s all worthwhile.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for the good work of Gisele Van Putten in the Laundry Department.

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