Imagine seeing the world the way God sees it. Witness the health and sickness, hear the weeping and laughter, notice the aimlessness and division. Now imagine God seeing all of this and saying “yes” to join us here on Earth. St. Ignatius begins the second week of the Spiritual Exercises with this contemplation on the Incarnation and the Holy Trinity’s deep desire to bring redemption to the world.
Every day, ten thousand Americans enter retirement age, bringing well-honed skills, expertise, and resources of practical wisdom to share. They yearn to leave the world better than they found it and wonder how they can make a difference in their third act.
IVC is an answer to that question. By praying for the grace to see God more clearly, love God more dearly, and follow God more nearly, members transform from ordinary volunteers to contemplatives in action who day by day experience making a difference in their community.
As a member of IVC’s community of benefactors, you make this possible. Your support allows IVC to recruit skilled women and men who provide dedicated, staff-level service to community-based organizations that serve people in need. Your generosity strengthens the Ignatian-based spiritual programming through which IVC’s members find the community, energy, love, and support that sustain them in their service.
IVC is at an inflection point. Millions of Baby Boomers retire yearly, but this generation’s retirement rate has increased since the pandemic. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 12 million more Baby Boomers and Gen Xers retired in 2020 than in 2019. Some are even calling it “The Great Retirement.” What do they want to do with their time?
A 2021 survey by Fortune Magazine helps answer that question. Folks nearing retirement age don’t want to kick up their feet and relax through their sunset years. Instead, most want to continue working but with fewer hours or less demanding roles. In short, millions of Americans are heading toward retirement, searching for meaning and relevance; IVC has spent 28 years building a program that fulfills this need.
Last year 204 men and women said “yes” to God’s invitation to join the corps, adding to the current corps members. This addition helped us break above pre-pandemic levels. They volunteered their time to serve one or two days a week at organizations that leverage their skills to augment programming that serves the poorest members of our communities. They committed to a robust spiritual support program that includes monthly meetings, occasional retreats, and opportunities for spiritual reflection in the Ignatian tradition. This influx is a validation of the tremendous importance of IVC’s work that even through the COVID-19 pandemic and all the limitations it placed on in-person gatherings and recruitment, the Holy Spirit continued to call people to come and make a difference. From this momentum, we anticipate that we will end the year with over 500 members serving one or two days a week from Maine to California and Louisiana to Minnesota.
Across the country, we face overwhelming needs in this time of instability, inflation, and change. Nonprofit social service organizations stand on the front lines, meeting the needs of the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable. The experience, professional skills, and time commitment of IVC’s corps members enable every social service organization that partners with us to lean more deeply into its mission, serve more people, and prepare for the future.
Please join us in building the corps to so that we can provide more nonprofits across the country with skilled and compassionate service members. Your philanthropy makes our vital work possible, unites us in mission, and directly impacts people living on the margins and suffering from injustice. Whatever you decide to give, please know every generous act, no matter the size, becomes part of the whole of our work.
P.S. “The Great Retirement” is an unprecedented flood of retirees exiting the workforce earlier than planned. Your support today is vitally important as we expand our program to animate the healing and positive transformational power of the generosity of their hearts into the places of greatest need in our world.