I have been an Ignatian Volunteer since 2000, and have seen the organization grow from a few dozen volunteers on the East Coast to more than 500 in 21 cities and counting. Clearly, the hundreds of retired people who volunteer their services to the poor and needy are meeting a need! Teachers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, business executives and homemakers, among many others, contribute their services and their wisdom and life experience to help children, the homeless, immigrants, the unemployed, the imprisoned and the newly released, abused women and children and many, many other people. "Making a difference" is an understatement.
Ignatian Volunteer Corps is an organization of retired people who commit to two days a week of volunteer work among the poor. We currently have more than 500 volunteers in 19 cities and are still growing. Volunteers serve as nurses, teachers' aides, lawyers, business advisers, social workers, office workers, tutors, in many locations including schools, food pantries, and organizations that help immigrants--this is a partial list. I have been an Ignatian Volunteer for eighteen years. The first sixteen, I taught English at an immigrant services center. Currently, I am assisting the Regional Director. Apart from helping the poor, it's a wonderful experience for retired people, using the skills of a lifetime and building community. It's really true that your most important work may begin after you retire!
Ignatian VolunteerCorps brings a diverse group of retired people together in order to provide service to a variety of non-profits while at the same time providing for the spiritual growth of the group through monthly meetings and retreats. We have formed an extremely strong bond in the New York chapter and really enjoy getting together in order to share what we are doing as well as participating in prayer and reflection. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
It is a very rewarding method of moving forward into our "next phase" in life, and I have benefited greatly from my interactions at my service sites.
I became involved in the Ignatian Volunteer Corps while trying to sort out my life following retirement. I had heard of it through Jesuit friends, and decided that I liked the idea of linking my spiritual journey with a desire to volunteer.
I quickly found both a great group of adults to share my spiritual development with, along with a volunteer opportunity at a local Jesuit elementary school, where I served in a variety of roles and with a variety of ages. Coming from a background as a school psychologist, I was asked to provide counseling services to kids in need, but also served as a lunch/recess monitor, assistant gym teacher, occasional substitute teacher, and even the regular first grade teacher for a few weeks. It was a rewarding (and exhausting!) experience. I was able to share the joys and challenges of this assignment with my IVC group on a monthly basis, as well as discussing a variety of issues related to our faith and relationship with God.
When the school closed, I was able to link up with a social service agency serving a poor population in upper Manhattan, and expanded my skill set in order to meet the different needs that they presented.
Having the IVC group as a resource and a comfort made the whole thing work, and I am very grateful to be able to participate in such an outstanding program.
I have volunteered as a reflector for IVC for more than 10 years. That means I have met with many other volunteers monthly while they share and reflect on their work with the poor. And this is what I hear: “I believe I met Christ in one of the homeless men.”
“ I learned how hard people work for their families and what that means for them.”
“ somehow, I finally can see the world doesn’t revolve around me.”
These men and women in retirement work 1 or 2 days a week with the poor through an IVC- linked nonprofit. It completely inspires me to live a more generous life.
As a director of a small faith-based non-profit, I see the wonderful contributions IVC volunteers make everyday. I am inspired by their spirit of serving and how they truly embody Jesus’ call to love God and love neighbor.
I've had a few opportunities to meet IVC members serving throughout Baltimore and have been amazed and impressed by their professionalism, camaraderie and commitment to social justice.
I am in my second year with Ignatian Volunteer Corps, having started with them when i retired. It has been more rewarding than I could have imagined.
The IVC placed me at a day shelter, working directly with the homeless. I could volunteer at the shelter on my own, but what makes IVC so special is that they place us in many different situations, and we meet monthly to share our experiences of working with those in need. There is also a deeply spiritual component, as we deepen our relationship with God through our work. We have spiritual reflectors provided by IVC to help us. The regional director is extremely sensitive to the demands of our work and has been committed to making it satisfying. The volunteers are a very joyful group, many of whom have been with IVC for years and even decades.
Ignatian Volunteer Corps provides retired men and women an opportunity to volunteer with a community agency applying the Jesuit principles of men and women for others. Opportunities include working with homeless shelters, soup kitchens, aid agencies and schools, two days a week from September to June.
During the year there are monthly meeting during which a selected book addressing social issues is discussed. The monthly meetings also serve each member with an opportunity to discuss his or her service work which provides support and affirmation. The opportunity to discuss our service experiences among the peer group is a very valuable element particularly for people beginning to volunteer.
I have found the service through the Ignatian Volunteer Work very rewarding, when I began this service I thought I was giving back, I have found however I receive much more than I give.
The IVC's work with Seton Catholic Schools is nothing short of remarkable. Over 30 generous volunteers are providing tutoring support for more than 125 of Milwaukee's most disadvantaged children. There's no way to adequately measure or describe the immediate and the long-term impact of service like this. We are deeply grateful.
I am a volunteer of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps(IVC) because it gives me a purpose in life long after I retired from my regular job. It enables me to use what I have learned to teach young children what they need to succeed in life. Students' scores on National Math and English Assessment tests have demonstrated the effectiveness of IVC volunteers in classrooms of low-income students with limited English backgrounds.
It also has enabled me to stay in contact with children I would normally never meet.
I would encourage anyone over the age of fifty to become a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, especially if you are seeking a personally rewarding experience in retirement.
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is an amazing, transformative organization. It is blazing the trail for an active, impactful retirement for American seniors. Erik Erikson famously described our lifespan as comprised of eight stages. IVC accompanies seniors during the seventh and eighth stages.
The challenge of the final years of work and the transition into retirement is to create and nurture a legacy. Erikson names this transition 'Generatively,' choosing to make a mark on the world which outlasts one's lifespan rather than the path of self-absorption. The particular mark that IVC members make is sustained service to economically deprived communities.
This collaboration in the creation of a more just and kind world beautifully sets the stage for Erikson's ultimate challenge, the development of 'Ego Integrity.' The post-retirement, part-time nature of IVC volunteer service lends itself to the gradual contemplation of our accomplishments. A sense of integrity is nourished as volunteers look back at a life well lived, at contributions made not only in the spheres of family and work but also to fellow citizens less privileged. The IVC experience assists in the acquisition of the virtue of wisdom, a sense of completeness and gratitude.
Still another benefit of IVC service is the development of new friendships acquired through collaboration in meaningful service. This perfectly address the conundrum of the loss of work friendships.
My life has been immensely enriched by participation in this great nonprofit! I am certain that the lives of many less privileged citizens have been meaningfully impacted by the dedicated service of my IVC sisters and brothers. I urge Great Nonprofits to recognize the Ignatian Volunteer Corps as a model organization for seniors.
As a member of the Minneapolis Ignation Volunteer Corp I have grown in my appreciation for the freedoms I was born into. As a volunteer for Sarah's, An Oasis For Women, be it keeping the pantry organized or helping the residents prepare for a test or assisting in resume writing, I am always struck by the ladies commitment to gaining their independence and becoming a
viable citizen of our society, These women do not hesitate to express their gratitude for all the staff at Sarah's does to support them.
In exchange for IVC ads in the Catholic Spirit, the biweekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I copy read the pages in their final drafts. This increases the exposure of the IVC to the Catholic community. I’m very pleased to use the skills I had as a high school teacher of writing and journalism. I’m even more pleased to be volunteering with the staff at the paper. They are wonderful people who really appreciate my contribution. It’s a perfect fit for a retired person with my background. Beyond working with the staff, it has shown me the efforts the Church is making to be effective servants of the people. Today, what could be more reassuring of the Church’s mission? Bernie Troje, St. John’s University, Class of ‘65
I am a volunteer with Ignatian Volunteer Corps in Denver and it has been an extraordinary experience. I spend 16 hours a week at my volunteer site (there are options for 8 hours/week) and have learned so much. Our cohort of volunteers meets monthly for spiritual reflecting and sharing about our various placements. When I retired, I knew I wanted to volunteer somewhere, but wasn't sure where. Finding IVC happened at just the right moment in my life. Our mission is to serve in agencies that minister to the materially poor and it is financial support from the greater community that allows IVC to fulfill its mission. Funding IVC ensures that each group of volunteers has a regional director who coordinates placements, monthly meetings, retreats, and opportunities for each of us to meet with a spiritual reflector on a regular basis. IVC makes a difference in the lives of the marginalized in our community, as well as in the lives of each volunteer. Making a positive difference is what makes a great non-profit!
I always said that I would do some sort of volunteer work in my retirement years. I retired in December 2016, but didn’t immediately follow through on this promise. I did not know what type of volunteer service I wanted, but I knew I wanted to be purposeful in my choice. Like many good intentions, it lay fallow for several months while I enjoyed the freedom from commitments. Then there was that Sunday Mass in late summer at Regis University where a small announcement was posted about the Ignation Volunteer Corps. It was the nudge I apparently needed, and I attended the informational meeting about the program and followed through with my application to the program.
2017-18 was the inaugural year for IVC in Denver, Colorado, thanks to the dedicated group of people from St. Ignatius Loyola Parish who made it happen. I am so proud that I was one of ten volunteers representing IVC in our city for the first time. My placement was, (and still is in year two) at the St. Francis Center, a day center for people who are experiencing homelessness. I work two 8 hour days per week, both assisting the client guests with basic service needs like accessing mail and their belongings in the storage area, and assisting the administration team with office support. I have yet to experience the feeling of “I wish I didn’t have to work today”, which tells me how nourishing this commitment has been for me spiritually and emotionally.
IVC has some unique volunteer components. One is that all volunteers meet monthly with our regional director and one or two spiritual advisors. We share our stories, reflect on book and scripture readings, and get to know each other better as an IVC community. Additionally, each volunteer is connected with a spiritual reflector with whom we meet monthly. These components bring an intentional spiritual piece to our volunteer service, and help us reflect on how our work connects us to God and our world community.
The Ignation Volunteer Corps provides an opportunity for retired laity to help fulfill the Jesuit mission of service for the greater glory of God. It is a non-profit organization that operates with little fanfare, even as it makes a large impact on the local community.
Love IVC! In my 8th year of volunteering in Boston. Managed the finances of 40 formerly homeless senior citizens for seven years and now helping develop a volunteer program at Project Hope.
Upon retirement I searched extensively for a volunteer role that would really matter in the lives of the clients I would serve. And then I found the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC), an organization which links its members to meaningful volunteer opportunities as part of network of volunteers who support one another.
As an Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) volunteer, I chose an assignment as a Career Coach at the New England Culinary Arts Training (NECAT) center. NECAT provides unemployed and underemployed individuals with the technical, professional and life skills necessary to secure career-ladder jobs in the culinary industry through an intensive 16-week Culinary Arts Job Training Program.
My Career Coach role I assist students through all phases of their job search … assembling resumes and cover letters, honing their interviewing skills, selecting target employers and applying for positions both in person and on line. I also coach students in some of the soft skills essential to their success after they have been hired.
IVC and NECAT was a perfect match for me. IVC is a group of like-minded people committed to making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. And NECAT is an organization which is all about providing judgment-free second chances at life to some of the most disadvantaged individuals in the community.
I cannot imagine a better "marriage of the minds"
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) helps to bring the Volunteer closer to God and his or her fellow man.
The small and dedicated administrative team goes above and beyond in securing placements that match a volunteer's skills with an organization's needs. This helps ensure that the volunteer will continue to grow in service to others.
Beginning the volunteer year with a spiritual retreat and by administering monthly meetings for reflection, the IVC promotes the spiritual growth in each of its volunteers. The monthly meetings also serve as a time for volunteers to support and encourage one another and build new friendships.
In short, my brief but continuing association with the organization has been outstanding.
I am semi-retired and was looking for a faith based volunteer opportunity. I was familiar with IVC ,Ignatian Volunteer Corps, from friends and knew when they came to Denver it was the opportunity I was looking for. I am now spending Tuesdays in a kindergarten of 19 students and 1 teacher, knowing I am having an impact on students and of being a 2nd adult in a very active classroom.
My friend Mauree Barney has described the many activities that touch the lives of people throughout so many communities. It inspires me to donate so that I may support their efforts.
My 92 year-old mother and I attend the Awards Mass in Chicago every Spring.
Our dear friend, Maureen Barney is a member of the Ignatian volunteer corps.I am so impressed by the work that she and the other volunteers do and their commitment to service!
I have 2 gal friend with autistic sons and they have become so engaged at Old St. Pat's church in mass participation and packaging bags for the homeless.
It is a 5 star volunteer organization and these volunteers go above and beyond in service.
I have also attended Cubs and White Sox games with Maureen and her special adults and enjoy it so much.