To: People of Influence (Aren’t you all?)
Have you ever felt like you share a secret that could change the world if only you had the influence to do so?
I feel that way about the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. Today many nonprofits are struggling to finance their work. Meanwhile, the economic downturn has forced many “seasoned citizens” into early retirement. IVC bridges the gap by providing hundreds of social service agencies with senior volunteers who find purpose and meaning in their service to the poor. Committed and caring, these volunteers provide the much-needed attention to children and adults struggling to learn and suffering illness, poverty, loss, and other crippling realities.
IVC is different. As our volunteers nurture others, they are nurtured as well. Our monthly gatherings provide a community of support. They share their trials and triumphs and lift one another’s spirits. Each volunteer has the support of an individual counselor who listens and mirrors back to the volunteers how their lives are making a difference and where they may need to make adjustments. We offer semiannual retreats to invite our volunteers to ponder why they do what they do and how to do it better. Folks find themselves closer to God and sense they’re doing God’s work!
Put simply, our volunteers
- Provide hundreds of thousands of hours to agencies that serve the poor
- Are rich in experience and compassion
- Make a significant difference in the lives of those they serve
- Save agencies and society money by preventing greater social needs
Our Corps provides:
- Purposeful work
- A support community
- Individualized counsel and retreats
- An opportunity to deepen one’s relationship with God
IVC has sixteen regions with hundreds of volunteers, working with hundreds of agencies serving thousands of people, and I am proud of the work they do. I am grateful, awestruck, and amazed at the men and women involved in IVC.
Even so, there is so much more we could be doing if we had people of influence who could shout the good news about the work our volunteers are doing from the mountain tops (or from the scoreboard at a ball game).
How much more of a difference could we make? How much better could we make our community and our country if we empower more to join in?
With gratitude for your influence,
Greater Cincinnati Regional Director, Ignatian Volunteer Corps
Linda Wihl is the Greater Cincinnati IVC Regional Director (or as some of the volunteers call her, “the matchmaker”). As the Executive Director of Making Sense of Language Arts, she is also a service site partner and sponsor. Her favorite title is “grandma!”