Regional Director Kathleen Groh in Minneapolis/St. Paul thinks of herself as a Heart Hunter.
This perspective arose when she described IVC and her role as Regional Director at a conference of the Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administrators. Afterwards, someone came up to her and said, “So you’re basically a headhunter for volunteers.” Kathleen countered, “Oh, I prefer to think of myself as a ‘Heart Hunter’.”
“As a Director, I’m in the center of it. Through listening to both the partner agency and the Volunteer, I learn about the Volunteer’s desires and the agency’s needs and am able to satisfy both. When a successful placement is made, that delights me.”
A recent example is Ignatian Volunteer Tom Meier. He met with Kathleen several times as he discerned becoming an Ignatian Volunteer. She heard him speak about his passions and his experience, presented several potential agency placements to him, and accompanied him through the process. Kathleen has recently matched him with Urban Ventures. This organization works to create jobs, close the achievement gap, and strengthen families in Minneapolis. He begins there this month.
“It makes my heart sing to know that they will have a good year”, she says.
“Philip Lindell Detweiler from Urban Ventures understands the heart of what we’re doing. He was a missionary in Africa. He wants to ensure that the passions of Ignatian Volunteers are met while also strengthening the organization’s capacity to serve youth.”
Tom has been prayerfully discerning joining IVC and choosing a placement. He says, “I thought long and hard about moving in this direction and after a lot of prayer I know it is the right move. I am experiencing a strong desire to continue down this road and I am sure the Lord is pushing me. I can tell you I have not felt this good in more than two years so watch out – something good is going to happen.”
“The benefit of this great match will be for the young people served,” says Kathleen. “The kids will be occupied and cared for in this after-school program and Tom will put his gifts to use in service.”
“The Heart Hunting process is at the center of what we do as Regional Directors. I can plan a fundraiser and organize a retreat and plan meetings. But the heart of it is matching the generosity of a Volunteer with a site that will pass this on to those in need,” she describes.
“After lots of listening, I sit as the Director and watch the matches happen. It’s the Holy Spirit. I like to be able to be that instrument of the Holy Spirit and have a role in making it happen. Then they do it, those Volunteers! It just thrills me to think that I’m part of it.”