Volunteers needed

by Dennis Coday

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Catholic News Service sent this out yesterday. Seemed worth passing on:

Congregation invites young women to New Orleans for year of service

By Catholic News Service

NEW ORLEANS -- A congregation of women religious in Cleveland are looking for young women to become agents of change by volunteering a year of service in New Orleans.

These women, ages 21-30, will have a chance to help the poor and marginalized people of New Orleans in various ways -- education, advocacy, social services and more -- by volunteering with the Congregation of St. Joseph, a community of 750 vowed women and 500 associates who sponsor more than 30 ministries around the country.

The volunteers are known as St. Joseph Workers, and the current group is completing a year of service this June.

One of the volunteers, Tracy Salisbury, an international business and global studies graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., said she gained as much as she gave.

"I have been able to learn valuable skills to help others return to their blighted homes while enjoying new friendships with homeowners and idealistic volunteers," she said in a press release.

Salisbury volunteered at http://lowernine.org, a nonprofit that focuses on teaching home rebuilding to other volunteers and residents still feeling the effects of 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

As part of the St. Joseph Worker program, the Congregation of St. Joseph houses volunteers together in an effort to create community and links them to several agencies around New Orleans to provide direct assistance to local residents.

The new group of volunteers will begin in August and work through June 2011.

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Women who are interested in the program should contact Sister Jackie Schmitz at jschmitz@csjoseph.org for an application and more information.

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