Friday, January 31, 2014

Around the Country in 60 Days

By Gordon Wong, Recruitment Associate

What an incredible five months it has truly been for me! In five months I have traveled to 11 states and 40 college campuses. I don’t dare guess how many students I’ve had conversations with or how many RESPONSE books I’ve given away.
Here's a snapshot of my New England recruitment circuit
from the past fall. Photo credit: Catholic Volunteer Network.

Recruitment hasn’t ended though! Starting this week I will be heading down to South Carolina for a week’s worth of visits to our Campus Recruitment Associates (CRA's), Brittany Mays and Marie Schaner . Through Brittany and Marie’s leadership, we will be hosting a joint day long service and reflection event in Columbia, SC. In addition to the CRA visits and the Service Day I will be visiting half a dozen more campuses while in the Palmetto State.

While on the road I will be writing every two weeks with updates. These blogs will serve as a resource to prospective volunteers and will include questions to ponder and suggestions on how to find the program best for you!

In the meantime here’s my schedule of travels over the next 60 days:
  • South Carolina: Wednesday, January 29 - Tuesday, February 4
    • Wednesday, January 29: Winthrop
    • Thursday, January 30: Wofford & Furman
    • Friday, January 31: Clemson 
    • Saturday, February 1: Service Day in Columbia, SC, 4:30 PM Mass at University of South Carolina
    • Sunday, February 2: USC and College of Charleston
    • Monday, February 3: Citadel
    • Tuesday, February 4: Coastal Carolina
  • Atlanta, GA: Wednesday, February 5 - Sunday, February 9
  • Seattle, WA: Wednesday, February 19 - Friday, February 21
  • Moscow, ID: Saturday, February 22 - Sunday, February 23
    • Saturday, February 22: Service Day
    • Sunday, February 23: University of Idaho
  • Portland, OR: Monday, February 24 - Tuesday, February 25
  • Pueblo, CO: Wednesday, February 27 - Tuesday, March 4: 
    • Saturday, March 1: Service Day at Colorado State University, Pueblo
  • Washington, DC : Friday, March 21 - Sunday, March 23: Ecumenical Advocacy Day
  • Memphis, TN: Saturday, March 29 - Sunday March 30
    • Saturday, March 29: Service Day at Rhodes College
    • Sunday, March 30: University of Memphis & Rhodes College

Excited to be heading down to South Carolina this week!
Many thanks to our friend Jim Grove for setting up these
visits. Photo credit: Catholic Volunteer Network.
Events will be added throughout the next couple of weeks. Visit our calendar to learn about an event happening near you.

See you on the road!

- Gordon

P.S. For more up-to-the-minute updates follow Catholic Volunteer Network on Twitter (@CatholicVolNet) and me on Twitter (@gowotweets).

Are you a prospective volunteer, current volunteer, volunteer alumnus or program coordinator and are going to be near Gordon? Join him for any of the events he has planned! Contact him at or call him at 301.270.0900, ext. 15.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's on Your Community Calendar?

by Caitlin Baummer, CVN AmeriCorps Program Assistant

Hey Volunteers! Have you been looking for fun things to do with your house for community nights? Here's a list of some program favorites for you to put your own spin on...

1. Theme Nights- The Colorado Vincentian Volunteers planned a Golf Night. They pulled out all things argyle, borrowed clubs from their program director and set up a mini golf course around their house. I've also heard stories of DayGlo, stretch pants and teased hair for an 80's Night complete with the Wedding Singer soundtrack blasting in the background. The possibilities are endless.

2. The Myers Briggs Test - Taking this (or another similar assessment) can be a great way to start conversation about your personalities and how you interact with others. It is a fun way to learn more about yourself and can be a huge help in addressing conflict within the community.

3. Affirmations - Take some time for each person to write down/brainstorm things that they really appreciate/ admire about the other community members. Then share them with that person and the rest of the group. This is a great end of the year activity, but can be helpful during mid-term struggles too.
4. Food Creations- volunteers with the Episcopal Urban Intern Program decorated these Gingerbread Houses one night. At my house, we had a popcorn night, where we brewed up some plain popcorn and added toppings ranging from garlic salt to caramel.

5. Game Nights- cards, riddles, sports and of course... board games! Need I say more? The Cabrini Mission Corps volunteers particularly enjoy Quelf, Telestrations and Cranium Hullabaloo.

6. Guest Speakers- invite members of local organizations, religious orders or other volunteer programs to talk about a social justice issue or another topic that you want to learn more about and then discuss your thoughts on the lesson.

7. Star Gazing- whether on a city rooftop or a country field, try removing yourself from the technologies of your house. Maybe start your night in silence and then let the spirit guide the meditations of your heart and conversation.

8. Arts and Crafts- if only I had a picture of our living room in mid-December when we were making Christmas gifts. There were fabric scraps, shreds of paper and glitter EVERYWHERE! Messy? Kind of. But it was a fun way to learn from each other's artistic talents and saved a ton of money in gift giving.

9. Going on a Night Hike- through the woods, on a beach, up that big hill in your city... don't forget your flashlights!

10. Larger Community Night- invite individuals from your local area into your home for dinner. These could be neighbors, co-workers, spiritual leaders, or individuals that you serve (keeping in mind appropriate boundaries of course).

I hope you've found an idea or two to bring back to your community. Send us an email with ideas for community faith-sharing activities at