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Volunteer opportunity spotlight: The great outdoors

April is National Volunteer Month. Follow along each week as we highlight some of the opportunities the Sisters of Providence have available.

If you’ve thought about volunteering but being stuck inside is not your thing, then you‘ll be happy to learn that the Sisters of Providence have many volunteer opportunities in the great outdoors. If you’ve ever visited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, (and if you haven’t, you really need to), then you know we are blessed to be in breathtakingly, beautiful surroundings.  But even a great natural beauty needs a little help here and there. Our extensive grounds and organic garden do require some TLC . We do have a fantastic team of people who do a great job taking care of this special place but it’s always great to have extra hands for special projects and general upkeep.

If you like to dig in the dirt then perhaps volunteering at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice would be a great fit for you. Our garden is certified organic so we almost ALWAYS need help with weeding. It might not sound like the most exciting job but it really is very important to our ministry. Plus, you can take out all of your frustrations that you might have stored up by yanking those weeds out. You can also help harvest. This can be a very fulfilling experience because you get to see the tangible end result of all of the hard work. As a bonus to your volunteering, you’ll learn about growing food sustainably and also get to see a cute alpaca or two while you’re here.  We grow things all year at White Violet Center, but are especially busy from May through October. Each week we prepare produce for our Farm Share members, Terre Haute Farmers Market and our Farm Store at White Violet Center.

Working in the organic garden at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice is just one of many outdoor volunteer opportunities with the Sisters of Providence.

If you’re interested in a special project, many of our outdoor sites can use a good spring (or summer … or fall) cleaning. We have thousands of visitors and tour groups each year so it’s important that these places be well maintained. In the past, individuals and groups have helped clean the statues in Providence Park as well as tidy up the Log Cabin Chapel and St. Ann Shell Chapel. Each year, we also have a host of volunteer opportunities that are outdoors for special events like our Earth Day Festival & Craft Fair and Fall Farm Day at the Woods.

Volunteers help us maintain many of our outdoor spaces seen by thousands of visitors.

With so many responsibilities in life, volunteering should be something you really enjoy. If this means spending your free time outside, then find something that truly works for you.

If you would like to explore volunteer opportunities with the Sisters of Providence, please contact Sister Rebecca Keller, our Sisters of Providence volunteer coordinator. She can give you all the details and answer all of your questions. Email her at rkeller@spsmw.org or call at 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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