After retiring from a career in the creative arts as artistic director of Philadelphia’s Beacon Theater Productions, Georgina Dietz was not certain what was next. “I took some time to discern, I set aside some time for a little sabbatical. Then I happened to run across a VolunteerMatch listing for IVC.”
IVC connected Georgina with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Housing and Community Services, which among its many activities operates five senior community centers in the city. Georgina started her volunteer assignment
by rotating through all five locations, getting to know the residents in each neighborhood and exploring what kind of work would be the best fit for her.
It’s not surprising that some of Georgina’s most memorable projects so far have
reflected her background in theater and design. She has encouraged seniors to engage in creative storytelling, bringing an important object from home and explaining its history and meaning. “One participant brought an object and, in the course of telling its story, revealed to us that both her parents had been blind while they raised her. It was moving for all of us, and an unforgettable way to learn about one another.” She has also led seniors in mosaic art classes, reflecting Georgina’s own work in mosaics as a long-time hobby.
What would she say to anyone considering volunteering through IVC? “You’ll grow as a person. As part of the IVC community, you’ll get support if there’s a problem, or if you decide you need a change in where you are volunteering. And, meeting the other IVC volunteers has been inspiring, especially when we meet in smaller groups and hear one another’s stories. For me, it has helped me to listen to God more, deepened my spiritual practices. I feel more aware of God’s presence in each situation and person I find myself with.“