Annunciation House is able to serve those in need because it has a strong volunteer base. People come from all over the country to help welcome those who have made the journey to El Paso. In November, a plea was made for volunteers. Many religious communities such as my own have sent volunteers. This week, Sister Doreen Glynn, CSJ from Albany-Carondolet, is serving with us. Sister Doreen said that after her first volunteer experience, she was so tired, she did not think she would come back. This is her fourth volunteer experience at Annunciation House. She speaks Spanish so she is able to help with the intakes. She hears the stories and they have touched her heart. Sister Doreen is also a friend of mine who is the Justice and Peace Coordinator for her community. Although we are working different sites, it has been wonderful to reconnect with her in the evenings after our shifts. She has provided familiarity in an unfamiliar setting.
The other day when I was working in the storage room, I had help from an 89-year-old El Paso native named Blanca. Blanca was born here but has family across the border in Mexico. It was wonderful to have a translator for the afternoon as I so not speak Spanish. I asked her why she came and she said it was because she could. She was having a good day and just showed up to see what she could do to help. Blanca is one of the gentlest, kindest, sweetest people I have ever met. Her love of people was evident in her easy smile, her care and concern for each person who came to us for help. She was heaven sent not only for those we served but for me. I have always believed in angels and this week, I met another one.
My prayer today is that I will be an angel to those in need and relieve their worries, fears and give them peace – even if it is only for a moment. Look for the angels in your life but better yet, be an angel in the lives of those you encounter. Come back for more experiences!