Friday, March 16, 2012

CVN AmeriCorps in Arizona

by Caitlin Baummer, Recruitment Associate

When our Associate Director, Nikki Rohling, asked me to write a blog in celebration of AmeriCorps Week (Saturday March 10th-Sunday March 18th), her timing could not have been more perfect. It just so happened that I planned to travel to Phoenix, Ariz. with our AmeriCorps Coordinator, Kristin Wolford, that week. I was scheduled to visit colleges and universities in Arizona, while Kristin had site visits at two of our AmeriCorps Programs, Maggie’s Place and Andre House.

In addition to Kristin coming with me to Grand Canyon University and the University of Arizona, I also got to tag along on her site visits. At each program, we took a tour of the facilities, talked with the Program Directors and interviewed AmeriCorps Members about their volunteer experiences. So we thought we’d share a little of what we learned.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Living Out the Pillars in Lent

Columban missionaries in front of the Basilica of the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
By: Caitlin Baummer, Catholic Volunteer Network Recruiter

Okay, so we've all heard the usual sacrifices: candy, soda, coffee... but this year, Catholic Volunteer Network wanted to know what our volunteers were giving up/taking on for Lent. In the responses I received, it occurred to me the ways that our volunteer's commitments reflected our four pillars.

When we think about what to give up for Lent, we probably think of simplicity, right? And if we take on some sort of prayer or devotional, we consider faith, yes? Well, have you ever considered how your Lenten promises could apply to the other two pillars of community and social justice as well?

Here are some common (and not so common) commitments that our volunteers told me they were making and how they fit into Catholic volunteer Network's four pillars:

  1. Giving up Netflix/Facebook/Apps- one volunteer actually had her comunity member change her password!
  2. Only drinking water- gulp gulp.
  3. Giving up eating meat- Yup, the whole time, not just on Fridays.
  4. Not wearing make-up/ fixing your hair- embrace the natural beauty that God sees in you.
  5. Not using disposale products- invest in cloth towels and reusable totes.