Posts Tagged ‘volunteerism’

Try Out Your Talents; Find the Perfect Volunteer Opportunity Tailored Just for You

Friday, April 5th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Visit our volunteer website  to check out these volunteer opportunities and dozens more.

Day Laborers Celebrate Their Heritage With Three Kings Party

Monday, January 7th, 2013


 

By Alice Kenny

On Saturday, January 5th, Obreros Unidos de Yonkers held their annual Three Kings Party to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Timothy Cardinal Dolan joined over 300 members and their families for an Epiphany Vigil Mass at St. Peter’s Church and a celebration afterward.

The Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, is widely celebrated in the Hispanic community with parties, gifts and a special pastry called rosca de reyes (kings’ ring). Catholic Charities staff and volunteers, including the Sisters of Charity, helped at Saturday’s party by serving dinner, distributing toys to children and giving gifts to the registered workers.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Janet Hernandez, the community organizer who staffs the Obreros Unidos program and Father Lino Otero, the pastor of St. Peter’s parish, all participated in the celebration, along with Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution that immigrants are making,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. “Their faith, industriousness and commitment to family are values that inspire us all. Catholic Charities is both proud and privileged to be part of this community and provide needed help that creates a future of hope for these workers and their families.”

Obreros Unidos (Workers United) is a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area that works with Catholic Charities on projects throughout the year. For example, after Sandy hit, Obreros Unidos members volunteered to remove crumbling sheet rock and pull out ruined furniture from Staten Island houses destroyed by the storm. Catholic Charities also provides multiple services for the group, including educating workers on employment rights and responsibilities in order to prevent exploitation and abuse.

Catholic Charities Volunteers Visit Home-Bound Seniors to Provide Help

Friday, December 14th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities staff and volunteers continue to partner with parishes and communities to assist people affected by Sandy, identifying those who still need help throughout the Archdiocese. For example, the storm presented a particular hardship for home-bound seniors on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, leaving them not only stuck in their houses but all alone as well.

This weekend, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers will go door-to-door among several especially hard-hit buildings in the neighborhood to assess the needs of residents. In addition to handing out informational flyers, volunteers will check in on individuals and determine how many seniors are in need of help or company.

With the information they learn from residents, Catholic Charities will plan new programs to meet the long-term needs of Sandy survivors.

If you would like to volunteer for one of the ongoing opportunities, sign up on our volunteer website:

 

TRADING PLACES – From Volunteer to Staff and Back Again

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Pegeen Wall and Mary Marshall

Pegeen Wall and Mary Marshall did a double take when they heard one another’s name announced at a recent Catholic Charities volunteer training session held in Poughkeepsie.  They met decades back when Ms. Marshall, then a young mom, volunteered to teach children to swim at the local YWCA where Ms. Wall then worked as aquatic director.  But this time Ms. Wall, now semi retired, was the volunteer and Ms. Marshall was the recruiter seeking help.  Their professional and volunteer careers, they later learned, mirrored one another’s as they zigzagged back and forth from volunteer to staff and expanded their expertise along the way.

After their first meeting, Ms. Wall, today a grandmother of six, built a successful career in public relations and fund raising for nonprofit organizations while volunteering on a variety of boards and committees.  Meanwhile Ms. Marshall, a former IBM employee,  volunteered as president of a local nursery school board,  Parent-Teacher Association, garden club and more before volunteering at Catholic Charities in Ulster County in 1990.  She joined the agency staff in 1993 and has since worked her way up to her current position as Director of Catholic Charities Community Services in Poughkeepsie.

Now this social service agency is in the midst of a major drive to tap into volunteer expertise so that it can enhance and expand services offered.  Ms. Marshall has taken a leadership role in the effort in Poughkeepsie by drawing on expertise she developed working with and as a volunteer.

“We want to make sure we honor people who are generously giving their time,” Ms. Marshall said as she took a quick break from a monthly volunteer orientation and recruitment session in Dutchess County.  “Instead of fitting people into narrow volunteer positions,  we let them bring who they are and match them with what they have to offer.”

For Ms. Wall, this means the opportunity to do hands-on volunteer work by greeting clients, taking intake information and referring clients to Catholic Charities staff for help.

“I volunteered on boards and committees before but this has been an eye opener,” Ms. Wall said.  “I hadn’t expected the caliber, education and gratitude of people needing help,” she added, “and I’m impressed by the professional, gracious staff here that goes over and above in their efforts to serve.”

Looking for your perfect volunteer opportunity?

Visit www.CatholicCharitiesNYVolunteer.org to learn more information about volunteers and volunteer opportunities.

  • It’s easy. Simply type in a keyword such as “hunger,” “Thanksgiving,” or “seniors” AND your zip code.
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