What’s it Like to Give Back? “Awesome. My Word is Awesome.”
Beverly Farinelli (RN, BSN, MHA, NEA-BC) graduated from Wright State University in 1984. She dedicated her life to working as a pediatric nurse and hospital administration consultant for both her career and her service. Beverly has been named humanitarian of the year twice – a title she’s earned for her unwavering commitment to making the world a better place.
She has served with CMMB on three separate occasions. She participated in two mission trips to Zambia, one in March 2018 and the second in September 2018. Beverly has also had the opportunity to work with Dr. Tom Catena at Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. Beverly is a highly accomplished and visionary nurse executive with widely diversified expertise.
This spotlight highlights why and how Beverly has channeled her passions into serving others.
How has your work as a nurse tied into your experience on a mission trip?
My passion is taking care of people. Anyone who is in pain or suffering is in need of another person’s hand to hold. When I do mission work, it’s not about the expertise of being a super clinician or project manager but, about bringing human touch to people who are lonesome and forgotten – people who just really need someone to help lift them up from their suffering.
What words would you use to sum up your experience as a volunteer nurse in these settings?
Awesome. My word is awesome. I was in awe to see how much people endure with so little. I realized the gratitude and appreciation of what it means to reach out and touch somebody. It’s not about your ego, your stuff, or the expertise you bring. It’s being able to look into a person’s eyes and say – I am here with you, and I’m going to help you. That help may only be ten seconds of holding them, stroking their face, or touching their baby. But, the light in their eyes that comes out when they see that you’re sincere, is awe-provoking. That is awesome.
Is there anyone or anything else that inspires you to continue serving?
Honestly it is people themselves. People I have met, like Katherine in Kandiana and Dr. Tom Catena in the Nuba Mountains, who dedicate their lives to others, who work endlessly to serve people who walk around in rubber flip-flops and who don’t have refrigerators or even a donkey. People who I recognize as selfless. You see, in Pittsburgh I have a car, a brand new home, a refrigerator full of groceries, and a closet full of clothes. When you come to see people, like the people who live in Kandiana or people in the Nuba Mountains, you realize you have entirely too much stuff.
When I was a little girl, I had five dreams. All I did as a little girl was dream, because growing up I didn’t have much of anything. But, one of my dreams was to come to Africa. When my dream came true and I went to Africa for the first time, I was just incredibly grateful that God gave me that opportunity. God’s given everybody opportunities to do things, but so often we are selfish and we reject the call that we have or don’t answer it to the degree that we should. So, I am also inspired and directed by the word of God.
How have your mission experiences changed you, both personally and professionally?
Anyone who engages in a mission experience can’t help but walk away from it feeling grateful for the life they have been given. You walk away knowing every life is equal in value. Some, however, are given less opportunity. Personally and professionally I can offer my life experiences to better someone else’s life, and reap the reward of joy in the process. When people retire, that isn’t the end of their career, it is the beginning of a richly rewarding experience you couldn’t afford when you were working because the focus was making money.
When you offer your professional experiences, personal energy, and commitment to other people, the fulfillment and satisfaction of seeing a smile far exceeds a paycheck. I encourage anyone who is retired to step out of their comfort zone and allow themselves to enjoy sacrificing their daily pleasures in order to bring comfort and benefit to someone whose life is equally important. Mission work will teach you that stuff doesn’t matter, people do. To not offer your talent for the good of others is wasteful. My grandchildren and my great grandchildren must learn from example, starting with my example. If you receive, then you must give back — our rewards are not on this earth but in heaven.