In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we’ve highlighted some of our all-star volunteers who help make Father Joe’s Villages mission possible. Learn more about some of the volunteer work that supports Father Joe’s Villages every day and the volunteer opportunities that can change lives in the San Diego community.
In 2018, Father Joe’s Villages helped over 14,500 people experiencing homelessness. This work is only possible because of the over 10,000 hard-working volunteers that give their time each year to help us serve San Diegans who are homeless. At Father Joe’s Villages, we have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to meet nearly every need and interest. Our success depends on the dedicated supporters whose volunteer work changes lives every day.
For Mary, volunteer work is not only a way to make a difference, it’s a welcomed obligation.
“My mother used to say, if you’re too busy to volunteer, then you’re too busy.”
Mary has been volunteering for Father Joe’s Villages for over six years. She began by serving meals with her husband through our Franklin Antonio Public Lunch program every Saturday. Eventually, she sought out other volunteer opportunities with the organization and joined our Ladies Guild, which volunteers thousands of hours a year to support the hundreds of children we serve each year. There, she found “a group of the most supportive, nice women I’ve ever seen.”
Yvette began volunteering with Father Joe’s Villages eight years ago after learning about the organization through a commercial.
“I saw the ads on the TV. I had a warm feeling the first time I volunteered and I wanted to keep coming.”
She began her volunteer work in the Paul Mirabile Center dining room serving meals to the men and women living in our emergency shelter. It was her way of supporting Father Joe’s Villages.
“I think that all of us as individuals—it’s our obligation to give back to the community. Some give money, but I can give time.”
Not only did Yvette enjoy contributing to society, she also found she loved the people at Father Joe’s Villages. In 2017, Charlotte, another all-star on this list, suggested Yvette look into other volunteer opportunities. Since then, Yvette has been volunteering serving meals in the Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program on the weekends and doing clerical work at Father Joe’s Villages administrative offices weekly.
Charlotte and Merv Spahn
Over 28 years ago, Charlotte was told about a volunteer opportunity serving meals in the Father Joe’s Villages Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program and she has been volunteering ever since.
“I got started and loved every minute of it. I love the people. I love the work. I love everything about it.”
As a Volunteer Coordinator for the Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program at the Paul Mirabile Center, Charlotte organizes a group that serves meals every Saturday. Charlotte enjoyed her volunteer work so much she sought out other volunteer opportunities. As a result, she has been helping with clerical work at our administrative office for seven years. She even recruited her husband, Merv, to volunteer with her. Merv has been helping with clerical work for over a year. Charlotte and Merv both believe that volunteer work is something everyone should participate in.
It’s important for the soul. It makes me feel wonderful. I feel loved and appreciated and then I get to give that love and appreciation right back.