The new crop of Good Shepherd Volunteers (GSV) are in place, rolling up their sleeves and engaging in the work of Good Shepherd ministries. GSV has placed domestic volunteers in Los Angeles, New Jersey and New York and international volunteers in Nongkhai, Thailand. Deirdre Harrington and Samantha Sanford are serving at the Good Shepherd Shelter in Los Angeles. John and Susan Fruend are serving at Hands of Hope, an income-generating project in Nongkhai, Thailand, for village children and adults who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Good Shepherd Volunteers is continuing its partnership with the Good Shepherd Shelter Los Angeles, a residence for women and their children who have experienced domestic violence. The Good Shepherd Shelter provides a safe, nurturing environment where they can heal, reawaken their dignity and self-confidence, and learn the skills that will help them stop the cycle of domestic violence.
This year we have placed two volunteers at the domestic violence shelter: Samantha Sanford and Deirdre Harrington. Samantha is continuing GSV in her second year of service. Last year she was placed at Marian Hall in New York City, where she worked with young women who are unable to return to their homes. This year, she is working at the LA shelter as a teacher’s aide for toddlers and infants.
Deirdre Harrington graduated from Notre Dame this past May. She is serving as a teacher’s aide for the elementary school-aged children at the shelter. This is not her first time at the Los Angeles shelter. She volunteered there through a Notre Dame Service program, where she lived and worked at the shelter for a summer and grew to love it. This led her to apply for GSV!
First time collaboration
In addition to placing two new volunteers in Los Angeles, GSV has started a new collaboration with a service program called Ignatian Service Corps (ISC). ISC is a brand new post-graduate service program at Loyola Marymount University.
The program joins young people together to serve for a year as full-time volunteers. Similar to GSV, the Ignatian Service Corps responds to the call of social justice and partners with various agencies to work in marginalized communities around the Los Angeles area. Founded in Jesuit spirituality, ISC seeks to live out the Ignatian principles. Deirdre and Samantha are living in community with five ISC members. They also will continue to live out the value of intentional community. All seven members of the community will support each other through their service year and come together for meals, community and spirituality nights.
GSVs in Thailand
John and Susan Freund are a married couple who are now serving in Nongkhai, Thailand. They have been married for three years. Their idea to do international service was born seven years ago, after listening to a radio broadcast about volunteering abroad. They said it has been a long-time dream to serve internationally, and it’s finally a reality!
Moving from Chicago to Thailand was a life changing decision for the couple, and the Good Shepherd community is very grateful that they have dedicated their time and skills to serve those in the Nongkhai Hands of Hope community.
Both Susan and John will be working throughout the year with individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Susan will work part-time as a massage therapist, while John will work full-time in the care center using his nursing skills.
Susan will also work part-time at Hands of Hope, an income-generating project for children and adults with HIV/AIDS. Hands of Hope employs villages with HIV/AIDS to design and create paper goods that are sold through fair-trade markets around the world.
John and Susan Freund are the first married couple to join GSV. The couple is blogging about their journey at http://bit.ly/1Jl5EzA.
The other 12 Good Shepherd Volunteers are serving in ministries of the New York Province.