I am in the "Windy City" for a few volunteer fairs. I have been to DePaul University and Loyola University today, and tomorrow I head to the University of Notre Dame. Chicago is such a beautiful city, and I am glad to be here for an extended period of time.
We had a lot of interest at both fairs which is an encouraging sign the volunteering isn't on the back burner in these tough economic times.
Last week I was able to get to all three ministry sites and live the life of our volunteers. My journey took me to Francis House, St. Anthony's school, the St. Francis Inn, St. Benedict's Thrift Shop, St. Francis Urban Center, St. Paul's school, and Delaware Park. Each ministry is so different in job description, but the love and and energy put into them by the FVMs is out of this world. Here are some pictures from the trip, and of the FVMs in action.
Labor day marks the unofficial end of summer. Don't be mad at me, I'm just the messenger. It does however mark the beginning of a new school year for students, more alone time for stay-at-home parents, but more importantly, less free time for most of us. During the summer, many people take vacation to enjoy the warm weather, the beaches, and to see family. A lot of people also take time to volunteer because their schedules aren't as busy. Most students don't have classes, deadlines aren't as frequent due to summer recesses, and many educators aren't in their classrooms everyday.
The phrase, "time is money," is significant in our culture, especially in this economic hard-time we are facing as a collective nation. It is necessary to realize how important making money and saving for our futures, but also recognizing that our time is still valuable and needed in the volunteering world as well. If everybody who reads this blog could take some time and remember what it feels like after giving some of your time for others, the craziness of life now that summer is over might not be as tough to deal with. We should feel blessed that we have lives in which we have so many things going on at all times. Too many of the poor and marginalized wish they could have the opportunities and experiences we take for granted.
I challenge you all to take some time, even if it is just to say good morning to the beggar on the street, because really, our lives aren't THAT busy.
This post is late in it's publishing, but with the change of FVM Promoter, it got lost in transition. As our new volunteers begin their amazing journey (about 3 weeks into their ministries), I would like to take a step back and recognize on the blog, the FVMs who passed the torch to this year's group. The entire FVM program would like to graciously thank, and wish nothing but great things for Amanda Lengauer, Katelyn Bagtaz, and Noé Granados.
Although only three, this group ministered to countless numbers of people, and touched the heart of everyone they came in contact with. We now welcome them with open arms to the family of FVM alums.