Sisters to offer teen volunteer program
We know that volunteering makes people feel better. We also know that when teenagers volunteer, the benefits are doubled: They learn about new people and the needs of those around them, and they learn what it feels like to see themselves as needed helpers.
The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods have scheduled a volunteer program for teenagers this summer and are inviting all students entering grades eight to 12 to consider taking part in it.
The director of the program, Sister Joni Luna, said the pilot program for the volunteering experience began last year.
“We had 10 students who came to the Woods to volunteer,” she said. “What inspired this program was that our Providence Associates Program is for those older than 18. We have other events for younger children also, but we lack programs specifically meeting the needs of teenagers.”
In this program, teens will have an opportunity to interact with many of the Sisters of Providence, those residing in Providence Health Care and their staff. They will take part in events like Bingo, exercise, baking, singing, conversations and more.
Last year, teens who took part in the program turned the tables, showing the sisters and others how to use new technology, like cell phone apps.
“This is an opportunity to invite young people to come and share in the love, mercy and justice of the Sisters of Providence,” Sister Joni said. “For these young volunteers, it is about sharing who they are – their gifts and talents – with women and staff who are welcoming and affirming them.”
Imogen Anderson, 14, is one of the 10 teens who took part in the event last year.
“To give of my time at the Woods, just all together, made me feel better,” she said. “I felt good because I knew that what I was doing was worthwhile. I helped those who couldn’t exactly help themselves, and also because I was not at home being a couch potato!
“My favorite part of the day was the workouts after lunch, because I was full of energy and I was able to encourage others. I would most definitely do it again. I had a lot of fun, especially because of Sister Joni, who made it fun.”
There are four sessions for the upcoming program. The first session is scheduled for June 11-12, while the second session is June 13-14. The third session is June 18-19, and the final session is June 20-21.
Each session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., each day. Currently, 10 volunteers can be accepted per session.
“It is a lot of fun, and at the same time, our teen volunteers are having valuable life experiences and learning from the wisdom of our residents,” Sister Joni said.
To receive an application, contact Sister Joni at firstname.lastname@example.org.