Helen Henderson honours their maintenance manager who showcases kindness and dignity to everyone

For Jack Staszak, every drop in the ocean counts.

Happiest on a mountain, near a seashore or in a quiet forest, his passion for the environment is evident in his work to maintain Helen Henderson Care Centre, an accredited retirement and long-term care home in Amherstivew.

“I love my job,” admits the friendly Maintenance Manager. “I was born to fix stuff. I love to be outside working in the gardens and in the home, repairing equipment. I try to maintain the home in a way that preserves the environment. Every act of consideration matters. We won’t have a society if we destroy it.”

Jack stands outside with a bird perched on his handPausing to ensure his English is correct, Jack’s kindness and decency are not lost in translation, despite his heavy Polish accent. Only 41 years old, he arrived in Canada from Poland in 2004 and began working at the home seven years later. 

“I’ve always had a soft spot for the elderly,” says Jack with a tender smile about his work to maintain the home for approximately 200 residents who require assisted living. “There’s something special about them. I like to be helpful and make people happy after I complete a task.”

Married with two young daughters, Jack acquired his skills while working at his father’s construction company in Poland. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Business and Masters in Public Administration.

Speaking from the home in early January, Assistant Administrator Angela Gibson describes her manager with enthusiasm. 

“In addition to having all the knowledge and skills required to be an excellent Maintenance Manager, Jack is also one of the kindest and caring individuals I know. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team.”

“I’m proud of what I have accomplished personally and professionally,” replies Jack, grateful for the feedback. “My wife and I have worked hard for everything we’ve achieved.”

Asked about his future plans at Helen Henderson Care Centre, Jack says he will continue to upgrade and improve the home in 2018.

“I think we’re on the right path,” he explains about a long list of improvements completed in the retirement lodge and nursing home in the last two years. “I want to keep doing them and put all of the great ideas (here) in place.”

To do that, Jack will combine his skills, knowledge and passion for the environment.

Committed to conserving and preserving nature, the manager thrives on fresh air and open space.

“I don’t like to be stuck behind a desk,” he explains about himself. “I like the challenges that come with this job because it’s so diverse. The gardens here are beautiful and require constant attention. It’s a pleasure to care for them and the building. I also really like my colleagues here. I love Canada. The people are very friendly. It is a welcoming and beautiful country. The scenery, seasons, natural wonders and wildlife are incredible.”

Describing himself as friendly, happy, outgoing, energetic, sensitive and funny, Jack smiles thinking about his transition to another country.

“It was very easy to blend in and become Canadian,” he says kindly. “In Canada, I feel like I’m home.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for the passion of Jack Staszak. We know the future will either be green or not at all.

In photo: Jack Staszak

This story was originally published by Helen Henderson Care Centre. Reposted with permission.