Executive Director - Volunteer Appreciation

Executive Director E-Newsletter

Yesterday evening we held our Annual Volunteer Recognition Event at the Breen Center of St. Ignatius High School. We welcomed over 60 volunteers to thank them for their year of service and recognize some volunteer milestones. The evening began with appetizers and dessert in the lobby while volunteers visited with staff, board members and each other.

The program opened with Volunteer Rich Jerdonek offering a prayer and welcoming remarks by WSCC Board Vice President Paul Bachman. Emily Keating, our current Jesuit Volunteer offered a Reflection on Service. One remark stood out for me and I will quote Emily directly:


“Before accepting this placement, I had the opportunity to talk with last year’s JV, Chelsea and I’d like to share a piece of her advice to me, which ultimately convinced me to move to Cleveland (a decision that most of my college friends were perplexed by). She beautifully describes the Jesuit Volunteer role in saying:

∙You’re not going to come ‘help’ anyone, and that’s really not what the job requires. Some people are looking to leave homelessness and others are not yet ready due to any combination of barriers.(Here’s the important part) Either way, you are going to work with them, side by side, create things, talk, share, and learn more than you teach. But you won’t [necessarily] ‘help’. It’s beautiful, really.

I am reminded that those are useful words not only for the Jesuit Volunteer but for all the staff and volunteers at the WSCC. We can only do what our clients are ready to do.

Terrie then presented the following milestone awards:

10 Years of Service: Bev Morgano - JoAnn Callahan - Betsy Flanagan - Roman Dumycz

20 Years of Service: Fr. Dan Fickes - St. Francis de Sales Social Justice Group

30 Years of Service: Judy Herman

Over 300 Hours of Service in 2013 - Elaine Betz - Anne Cleary - Roman Dumycz - Bob Gardner - Jackie Gulling - Julie Jerdonek - Ken Pattison - Barb Sherman - Roger Towers

We also recognized new monthly volunteer groups Nativity Parish and St. Albert the Great

Volunteers Roger Towers and Joe Siekeres provided wonderful reflections on their WSCC experiences and George Gonzalez, sometime client, sometime volunteer gave another perspective reminding us all that the “God lives at the WSCC.”

I had the honor of closing the evening by presenting the 2013 Dorothy Day Award to Anne Straitiff. Anne volunteers as a personal shopper, serves lunch with St. Raphael Parish, serves as an employment mentor and works with families in the Passages program. What distinguishes Anne in her volunteer efforts is her commitment to the clients. I know that Anne establishes relationship with her mentees and families and she maintains those relationships long after the official program is over. These relationships truly make a difference.

The WSCC is blessed with so many wonderful, giving volunteers. We are very grateful for their time, treasures and talents. And as last year’s JV, Chelsea said “It’s beautiful, really.” It truly is!

My thanks to Terrie Garr for organizing the evening. She was capably assisted by Jennie Highfield, Mary Beth Singler, Joyce Humel, Cheryl Helden, Donna Flanagan, Priscilla Franklin, Laura May, Traci Muchowski, Judy Kern, Barb Taylor, Sue DiNardo, Mario McMichael, Karen Carter-Bell and Emily Keating. Additional thanks to St. Ignatius H.S. for the use of the Breen Center.

As Always, Thank You for Reading,

Anita Cook