Executive Director E-News 5.8.15 - Our volunteer awards

Executive Director E-Newsletter

We recently honored the West Side Catholic Center Volunteers with our Annual Volunteer Recognition Event on the evening of April 23rd.  Over 110 volunteers and staff gathered in the St. Ignatius High School Atrium for food and friendship. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of The Dorothy Day Humanitarian Award.

The Award is presented annually to a volunteer who represents the spirit of Dorothy Day. He or she especially demonstrates commitment to and love of Christ evidenced through community with concern and love for the materially disadvantaged.

This year we were privileged to give the award to one group and several individuals, all who clearly epitomize the values of Dorothy Day. The Sullivan Family Learning for Life Program began in 2009 to focus volunteers on individualized tutoring that fosters literacy among our clients. The volunteer tutors are a dedicated group who work with adults learners on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The adult learners have varying goals from; basic literacy, obtaining a GED, personal enrichment, preparing for college classes, or learning job skills. The award was accepted on behalf of the volunteers by the program's lead volunteers Roman Dumycz, JoAnn Callahan and Karen Postle. Roman, JoAnn and Karen have been steadfast volunteers of the WSCC for many years.

We were thrilled to also recognize six women who have cumulatively volunteered for 187 years at the WSCC. Grace Bostwick came to us from the Community Life Program of St. Angela Merici and has spent most of her 34 years in the Meals Program. Grace is here every Friday, cooking and serving lunch. Barbara Clemente has been involved at the WSCC for over 27 years. Barb began her service in the Women and Children’s Shelter and now volunteers every Wednesday morning in the Drop-In Center. Barb is a member of St. Raphael.

Judy Herman has been coming to the WSCC for over 31 years. She began with others from St. Brendan and has worked wherever she was needed. Judy is here every Tuesday morning serving as a Personal Shopper. Sue Katigbak began to volunteer 35 years ago when there was only a Drop-In Center. She has seen many changes in the WSCC and is here every Thursday morning to prepare and serve lunch. Sue is an active parishioner of St. Angela Merici.

Gerry Vandeveer saw a notice in the St. Raphael Parish Bulletin and came to the WSCC 27 years ago with Barb Clemente. Gerry has been a regular Wednesday volunteer ever since. Finally, Colletta Weisbarth began her ministry 33 years ago as a member of a mission group from St. Brendan who was looking for a way to serve those in need in the community. Colletta began in the meals program but has been a regular Tuesday morning volunteer in the Clothing and Household Program for many years.

I am in awe of the commitment these volunteers show to their work at the WSCC. In particular, these six women have maintained their volunteer presence at the WSCC for longer than many people work at their paying jobs. We are grateful for all the volunteers and their gifts to the WSCC. In 2014, the volunteers donated 30,096 hours of service to the agency which is equivalent to almost 15 fulltime staff.