Looking for Meaningful Volunteer Opportunties? Try the IVC
For pastoral counseling alum Carol Rice, M.A. ’98, her volunteer work with Baltimore’s Public Justice Center brings her more than enough personal reward to balance the time and energy she devotes to the program. “My work fills me with hope,” she said about her involvement with the legal advocacy organization. “Everyone I've met at my volunteer site is committed to working hard for social justice. There are no words to describe our monthly volunteer meetings and retreats; I am always inspired by the stories other volunteers tell and by our discussions. It all combines to make me more aware of God's presence in our lives and work.”
Rice’s work with the Public Justice Center stems from her involvement with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC), an organization founded in 1995 to provide men and women over the age of 50 an opportunity to use their unique talents to serve others, address issues of social injustice, and transform lives. IVC works in partnership with hundreds of community partner organizations and matches the talents of capable volunteers with areas of great social need. Whether working in direct service or behind the scenes, IVC volunteers meet regularly with a “reflector” to discuss the meaning in their volunteer experiences.
Baltimore-area reflectors with Loyola ties include Sr. Catherine “Missy” Gugerty, SSND, director of the Center for Community Service and Justice, and Seamus Dockery, emeritus professor of fine arts.
Ed Sommerfeldt, husband of Mary Sommerfeldt of the Mount Saint Agnes College class of 1955, started volunteering with IVC following his retirement from Coppin State University. He was looking for something meaningful to do with his newly found free time, and the Ignatian Volunteer Corps fit the bill. Ed now mentors clients at the Our Daily Bread Employment Center in Baltimore.
IVC operates in 16 regions across the country – Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New England, New York, Northern Virginia, Omaha, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis, Syracuse, and Washington, D.C.
“IVC offers you flexibility and a wide range of opportunities—matching your skills and interests with the needs of community organizations. You could tutor, help people find jobs or housing, provide health care or companionship, write résumés or repair houses. You could do administrative, advocacy, or fundraising work, counsel the homeless, or mentor immigrants. With the needs so great, we need more Ignatian Volunteers than ever before,” said Rice.
For more information on volunteer opportunities in the various geographic regions, visit www.ivcusa.org.