IVC Philadelphia/South Jersey Member Profile: Jane Seaberg, Sanctuary Farm

by | Feb 17, 2023

 A Growth Experience

After a long career in communications and journalism, Jane Seaberg was looking for a volunteer opportunity that was different from the work she had done for so long: “I knew I wanted to have an active retirement. Some of the situations I encountered involved sitting at a desk, like I’d done my whole life. I was looking for something more.” She found it at Sanctuary Farm, an IVC partner organization that operates an urban garden, farmstand, and educational center in North Philadelphia. “I feel so much more alive when I’m here. I just love it.”

Jane spends about ten hours a week at the farm, and much of the work is hands-on planting and caring for the vegetables distributed to local residents. (“I have learned a lot, and gotten significantly stronger!”) She also helps lead educational programs for neighborhood schoolchildren, many of whom aren’t familiar with where foods like carrots and beets come from. Working in the midst of an urban neighborhood, she has also formed connections with the community of residents living in close proximity to the farm: “Some days there are hard things to experience. But there are also great moments, as when someone comes by to report on her life’s progress, and hugs us all and tells us she loves the farm family.”

Sanctuary Farm has almost 20 regular volunteers. How does being there as an IVC service corps member make a difference for Jane? Reflecting on her experience (which she shares with Sanctuary’s other Ignatian volunteer, Porter Bush), Jane observed, “You get to be part of a community of amazing people, educated and thoughtful and on much the same spiritual path of wanting to serve. Everyone, as part of their volunteer work, has things to process and discuss. IVC’s monthly gatherings give you a wonderful community of peers to do that with.”
– Tom Baker, Regional Council Member