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Volunteer Spotlight: Penny’s from heaven

Penny Frederick (l) and Stacy Pierce (r) with one of the planters that Penny built for the courtyard in Providence Health Care.

We have some really amazing volunteers at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods who do some really amazing things for us every day.  Penny Frederick is one such person. From helping at our food pantry in West Terre Haute, regularly driving sisters to appointments and fun outings and working in The Farm Store at White Violet Center – it truly feels like Penny is heaven sent. But that’s not all. Penny, a highly skilled woodworker, has also made beautiful fixtures for The Farm Store as well as planters for the courtyard in Providence Health Care. Here’s what Penny had to say about being a volunteer for the Sisters of Providence.

What made you decide to volunteer?
I have always had an interest in volunteerism, but when I met Sister Joseph (Fillenwarth) and (got to know) the work she was doing at the Providence Food Pantry, it quickly became clear that volunteer work can be extremely fulfilling and life-affirming.

What is the best part about volunteering?
The best part of volunteering is knowing (that) I have made an effort to assist in fulfilling the needs of people who have limited resources.

In addition to providing transportation to sisters for appointments, Penny also drives the bus for many of their recreational outings.

What are some of the things you have done as a volunteer?
The most important thing I do as a volunteer is to assist people who struggle with food insecurity which is, unfortunately, pervasive in the Wabash Valley. In addition to my volunteer work at Providence Food Pantry and the Catholic Charities Food Bank, I have assisted others by completing building projects, providing home maintenance and repairs, providing transportation, and organizing and assisting with fund-raising events.

What would you tell people who are thinking about volunteering?
The opportunities to participate in volunteerism are vast and varied. I would encourage people to look toward their own interests, hobbies, and passions to find volunteer work that will be meaningful for themselves while providing a service which helps others.

We are so blessed to have Penny and all the many volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to the Sisters of Providence. If you are interested in finding a volunteer opportunity that meets your passion and talents, contact Sister Rebecca Keller at rkeller@spsmw.org or call 812-535-2878.

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Mary Riley

Mary Riley is director of operations for White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Prior to her current role, she served as the marketing manager for some ministries of the Sisters of Providence including White Violet Center for Eco-Justice and the Volunteer Services.

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  1. S. Rita Clare Gerardot on January 22, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Mary, thank you for your blog on volunteerism and the highlighting of all the wonderful volunteer work that Penny is doing in our congregation. Her services are indeed invaluable and so much appreciated by the many who benefit from her joyful service.

    S. Rita Clare

  2. Donna Butler on January 22, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Thank you for this wonderful example of how gifted the SPs are and also the larger community by the talents and generosity of people like Penny and also Stacy. Together they make a powerful impact on making this world a better place! How very blessed we are!

  3. Sheila Donis on January 23, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Penny’s and Stacey’s volunteer work is quite admirable! Their time, talent, and human care are treasured by many. Thanks to both of you!

  4. vincenza birmingham on January 23, 2019 at 9:56 am

    I enjoy reading about the sisters of providence. I grew up in chicago and attented St Marks grammer school and learned a lot from the sisters. When you graduated from having teachers
    like sisters of providence you knew a lot and had respect for the sisters.
    My prayers and thoughts are with the order.

  5. Paula Modaff, S.P. on January 23, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Penny IS from heaven…and so is Stacy! Thank you both. And everything you do is done quietly and with a smile.

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