Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Elizabeth Gentry!
Carrots, ginger, tomatoes, beets, flowers and various types of lettuce.
It’s a Thursday just before noon and volunteer Elizabeth Gentry is looking over growing plants in one of the high tunnels at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC), a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The temperature is hovering in the mid-80s and the sun is shining.
As Elizabeth is keeping an eye on these growing herbs and vegetables, she is also musing about cucumbers.
In a previous week, Elizabeth had come to WVC and the cucumbers were barely peeking out above the soil. The following week, they had sprung to life.
“It’s mind-blowing how quickly things change,” she admitted.
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Originally from northern Indiana, Elizabeth moved to Terre Haute to attend Indiana State University. After graduation, she and her husband left the area for missionary work, including spending a year in Costa Rica. The couple eventually moved back to the Terre Haute area.
Elizabeth teaches as a tutor of English through online classes but felt like she needed something else to do in her life. She was aware of WVC’s former Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and scoured the internet to see what she could find to do.
She came upon the Sisters of Providence website and first learned about the WVC intern program, which wasn’t exactly what she wanted. Then, she discovered the sisters’ volunteer program, directed by Sister Rebecca Keller.
“We are blessed that Elizabeth gives us at least a full day of service each week,” Sister Rebecca said. “And on top of that, she is such a joy to be around!”
Elizabeth now volunteers at the WVC farm twice a week, typically from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., each day.
“I wanted to volunteer doing something outside,” she commented. “I have had gardens in the past but I don’t have one this year. Now, I’m getting to learn all the stages of the farming season, the ebb and flow of it. I’m learning to do this better for my future.”
The Sisters of Providence have many volunteer opportunities where you can make a difference.