Giving Hope

Catholic Charities is grateful for local support that helps us walk along side individuals and families in crisis and give hope. Individual donors, community partners, corporate partners, Catholic parishes and schools, and volunteers all help advance our mission to help our community’s most vulnerable.

Friday, 08 September 2023

Catholic Charities Celebrates Certification of Excellence in Volunteerism

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Catholic Charities knows its volunteers are an essential resource and strives to show gratitude to all who contribute their time. That’s why Catholic Charities is honored to receive the Service Enterprise Initiative Certification by ASU Lodestar Center, Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (ALIVE) and Points of Light.

Service Enterprise Initiative Certification Fosters Higher Levels of Volunteerism

This certification demonstrates excellence in volunteer engagement, proven return on investment (ROI) in volunteer investment and emphasis on achieving Catholic Charities’ mission of “Making miracles happen every day.” ASU Lodestar Center has found that Service Enterprise Initiative-certified organizations will increase volunteerism annually by 23 percent, representing approximately $63,000 in valued labor.

“Becoming recertified as a Service Enterprise Agency has affirmed that our agency is committed to integrating volunteers in meaningful and strategic ways and has continued to implement the structure put in place since the original certification in 2016,” said Catholic Charities Volunteer Services Manager Shannon Hill.

Some of the improvements made to obtain the recertification include an updated volunteer orientation and training system and enhanced materials and guidance to better prepare volunteer supervisors to strategically engage volunteers.

Joining Hearts Volunteer Makes Adoption Records Accessible

With more than 20 programs, Catholic Charities offers volunteer opportunities for all abilities and interests. Volunteering requires a thorough background check and, depending on the position, a fingerprint clearance card. Volunteers like Joyce Friel help in ways that aren’t always obvious to the public.

Joyce volunteers with Joining Hearts, which helps those experiencing an unexpected pregnancy make the life-affirming decision to parent or place their child for adoption. Through much hard work, Joyce has been able to produce a database for all the adoption records dating back to the 1930s.

Joining Hearts often gets requests from adoptees (those who were adopted), biological parents, or biological relatives seeking information or contact with family members. Joyce’s database allows the program to share information or initiate that contact more efficiently.

Joyce’s work will leave a legacy and be utilized for years to come. Volunteering with Catholic Charities has allowed her to become a part of something much bigger than herself.

Seminarians Serve Veterans at MANA House

In addition to individuals, Catholic Charities’ volunteer base is also made up of local organizations, parishes and faith-based groups, including the Seminarians at Nazareth House. Nazareth House is a two-year, college-level seminary fostering vocations and supporting formation in a community where young men may eventually minister. It provides a communal environment where they share prayer, meals, household responsibilities and volunteer together.

This year, the Seminarians brought enthusiasm and positivity to MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House. They volunteered with the program to help complete odd tasks such as cleaning the kitchen and sorting and loading up donations. They also got to work directly with people experiencing homelessness by helping with outreach in surrounding areas.

“I felt humbled, and I saw them as brothers and sisters. Their gratitude and humility inspired me,” said Seminarian Justin Sand.

Volunteer with Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities is excited to continue engaging volunteers and finding new ways to show appreciation for the work they do. If you’re interested in making an impact, check out all the volunteer opportunities available.

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Bethany Durham

Bethany Durham has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a passion for storytelling. Her writing for Catholic Charities has included blogs, newspaper and magazine articles. She enjoys telling client stories in a way that captures the humanity and emotions of those she writes about. When she’s not working, Bethany loves to spend time with her two cats, hike and sing karaoke.


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