One year ago, I was graduating from Le Moyne College not knowing what I wanted to do with my future. I knew I wanted to help people and travel, but was unsure how. I worked with campus ministry and soon came across Good Shepherd Volunteers in the Catholic Volunteer Network guide book. When I first applied for Good Shepherd Volunteers, I was mostly looking forward living in a new city, Los Angeles, CA! I have always loved traveling and learning about new cities, but had never lived in one for an extended period of time. Even though this made me nervous to be away from familiarity, I was excited to be immersed in a new living space. Little did I know; my new living space would have the least amount of impact on me.
The work I have done in the Good Shepherd Shelter for Domestic Violence has been an inexplicable experience. The children and mothers we work with have changed my life, and motivate me to continue to work in the world of social justice. I continue to be inspired by their stories and resilience every day. I cannot wait to see what amazing aspirations they have as families when they leave the shelter. Being in the Good Shepherd Shelter family is truly a blessing I will have to cherish my whole life.
Many of the mothers and staff we work with at the shelter speak Spanish, and I wish to be able to communicate with them better. One passion that I have gained this year is the beauty, power, and mystery of language. Having a language barrier can be frustrating, and it lessens your ability to help a person in certain ways. I know the moms have great personalities, and I wish my conversations with them could be more than basic small talk. I studied Spanish all through middle school, high school, and college, but being with native speakers is much different. For me, I think learning a new language would be best in the immersion of its culture. Being able to live in Sucre, Bolivia will help me better understand the Spanish language and hopefully bring down that barrier for me in the future. It will be a struggle at first, but I am prepared and determined to do everything I can to learn and grow from this new experience. Communication is a huge asset to helping others, imagine how many people you could meet and learn about if you knew more than one language? Or understood more about other cultures?
I am entering this experience with an open mind and willing to learn. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to continue working in the field of social justice with Good Shepherd Volunteers and continuing to “Just Love”. In order to make this new journey possible, I have a fundraising goal of $4,000. If you are able to give financially, please do so on this page or by mailing a check with my name in the memo to Good Shepherd Volunteers, 25-30 21st Ave, Astoria, NY 11105. Please know that all monetary donations to GSV go toward our experience of serving people in need, not administrative or overhead costs and all gifts are tax deductible. Any contribution will help, no gift is insignificant. I thank you for your kind consideration. With your donation, you are choosing to journey with me and all the work I will be doing will be because of your help.
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