volunteers — the heart of mission!

I recently attended the SSJ Neighborhood Network volunteer dinner which is held annually in appreciation for the many who offer their time to the ministry.

During the program, one of the SSJNN board members reminisced about his years as a volunteer with the Neighborhood Network. He recalled that in the early days of the SSJNN, the volunteer dinners were held at Villa Joseph, the congregation’s retreat cottage on the shores of Lake Erie in North East, PA.

As time went on and volunteers grew in number, the venue had to be moved to a larger space to accommodate the growing number of volunteers.

Today, there are 348 volunteers who serve the SSJNN at both locations, east and west. They share their talents in a variety of ways: working at the Monday night soup kitchen, tutoring, as receptionists, gardening, helping in the office, and mentoring in the bicycle repair program. The individual went on to thank the Sisters for providing the opportunity for individuals to do volunteer work. 

A video recapping the various activities sponsored by the SSJNN was shown and six volunteers who died during this past year were remembered.

As I interacted with many of the people in attendance, they repeatedly thanked the sisters for the wonderful work being done. I reminded them that it was their generosity in sharing their time and talents that help accomplish this work.  

I also was reminded of another group of wonderful volunteers as I attended the annual Fall Tea Party for the sisters at the Community Living Center.

Two volunteers served us coffee and tea while others made delicious cookies. There are 14 volunteers who help Sue Ann Wisniewski with all the activities she plans for the sisters.  These volunteers help in a variety of ways:  folding laundry, helping with bell choir, playing bingo and games with the sisters, sewing bibs or cover-ups, reading,  helping sisters write letters, accompanying sisters on their bus trips, or going along to doctor appointments. 

I would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers at our sponsored ministries – SSJNN West and East, Saint Mary’s Home of Erie, St. James Haven and St. Patrick’s Haven and at our Community Living Center, for all they do to help make the SSJ mission possible. 

Interested in volunteering? Click here.