Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

St. Aloysius Parish and Catholic Charities’ Volunteer Chore Services team up to brighten hearts and homes

by Paula Tindall, for the Inland Register

(From the January 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Volunteers with Catholic Charities’ Volunteer Chore Service perform simple but necessary tasks, making life that much brighter for many. (IR photo from Catholic Charities Spokane)

For the past 16 years, members of St. Aloysius Parish, Spokane, have put faith into action by volunteering for an Advent service project that assists low-income seniors and disabled adults with household chores. The event is a collaboration between the Parish Social Ministry of St. Aloysius Parish and the Catholic Charities Volunteer Chore program.

Volunteers begin the day by coming together for prayer, a light breakfast, and a short orientation, and then they go out, usually in groups of two or three, to individual homes to help clients of the Volunteer Chore Services program. These clients are seniors or disabled adults who have difficulty doing even basic housework. Typically, they are not sick or disabled enough to qualify for state help, but they are too low-income to readily afford private help.

Volunteers don’t just perform tasks and leave. They are encouraged to visit with the clients while they clean floors, vacuum, do laundry, and so forth – the true gift. Many of the clients don’t have many visitors on a regular basis, so the contact with the volunteers is very uplifting, especially during the Christmas season.

One client once said that having the volunteers come and do work for her and visit was “a real Christmas present.” Volunteers in turn have said how touched they are by how appreciative the clients are for their help. They get the satisfaction of knowing that they have made a difference for someone in a most tangible way.

The staff of the Volunteer Chore Services program greatly appreciates this annual gift of time and talent from the St. Aloysius Advent volunteers, with special gratitude going out to St. Aloysius Director of Social Ministry, Rita Amberg Waldref for organizing the project with Volunteer Chore Service (VCS).

The mission of VCS is to provide help to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities so that they can remain living with dignity and safety in their own homes. In addition to housework, the program provides transportation to medical appointments, yard care, minor home repair, food delivery, and moves. We are completely dependent on the generosity of volunteers who donate their time and hearts to help those in need.

The program always needs more volunteers. Individuals who can help on an ongoing basis are a great blessing, and we also welcome groups from parishes or workplaces who wish to come together and provide single or recurring events like St. Aloysius.

(For more information on volunteering for VCS, contact Cyndie Lapke at 459-6172.)

(Paula Tindall works with Catholic Charities’ Volunteer Chore Services.)

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