One of the greatest gifts I‘ve been given is the ability to call so many places “home”. From my childhood in Maryland, to college in Pennsylvania, serving as a Lasallian Volunteer in Wisconsin and now earning my Master’s in California, I have been blessed to find myself embraced in diverse cities, climates, cultures, and communities.
While each place has a unique hold on my heart, it is the same thing that brings me back time and time again: my people. My family in Maryland; my forever friends at St. Peter’s; my sisters (and catch-phrase brothers) at Holy Cross; my F&Mily in Lancaster; my St. Patrick’s and John XXIII loved ones in Racine; and now my community of St. Mary’s, Y-Scholars and fellow Lasallians in California. Together, we have built a connection of love, trust, and acceptance- inspiring us to see our potential and challenging us to live up to it every day. This sense of “home” that I’ve found across the country is what gives me hope as I prepare to spend a full year much further away: in Puente Alto, Chile.
For my first experience traveling (and living) outside the continental US, I am going to Chile to work with and learn from the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and the women of Puente Alto. As a Good Shepherd Volunteer at the Mother Josefa Foundation, I will work towards the GSV Mission of “serving women, adolescents, and children affected by poverty, violence, and neglect,” guided by the four tenets of Social Justice, Simplicity, Spirituality, and Community. Specifically, I will help facilitate workshops on topics based on the women’s interest and needs, such as micro-entrepreneurship, self-esteem, yoga, and English lessons. There is so much I want to share and learn: culture and language, social challenges and solutions, and expressions of spirituality. But more than anything, I hope to create our shared sense of home amongst this community. This is why I am asking for your support.
In order to make this opportunity possible and sustainable, I have a fundraising goal of $4,000. Donations will help cover my travel to and from Chile, health insurance, visa fees, and cross-cultural training; donations are not used toward GSV administration or overhead. By donating financially, you will help make my year of service with the Mother Josefa Foundation a reality.
Your support in the form of prayers, advice, good vibes and virtual hugs will also help me stay connected to the many homes that have brought me here. As I’ve learned from each move up to this point, this transition presents an opportunity for embracing new people, places, and experiences, while sustaining and deepening connections with those I’ve left (for now).
For every expression of support, be it financial, spiritual or emotional, I will commit to establishing one form of maintained connection that we decide upon together. For some, this may look like Skype dates, shared prayer, or letter writing and for others, video posts, a blog, or What’s Up messaging. Whatever the medium, my hope is that I will be able to share my new home with you, while being renewed by my other homes when I need them most.
I feel incredibly excited and grateful to embark on this journey with so many friends and loved ones. Thank you for your love, for your hugs, for your presence, for your friendship, for your mentorship, for your support, and most of all, for always welcoming me back home. No matter how near or far, my heart is with yours - and I feel home!
To join my support network with love, prayers, or good vibes, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can connect.
To donate financially, please complete the form below or mail checks with my name in the memo to: Good Shepherd Volunteers, 25-30 21st Ave, Astoria, NY 11105. All donations to GSV are tax- deductible.
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