Faith in Action

Glenmary Volunteer Web Ad
WANTED: Individuals who are willing to work long hours in rural counties in Appalachia and the South. Must be open to learning new skills and adapting to new cultures. Must be ready for the unexpected and above all, must be open to receiving more than is given. Apply to Glenmary Home Missioners.

Most people will never see a help-wanted ad like this, but folks who have volunteered with Glenmary would agree that the job description is accurate. There are many types of volunteer opportunities available for all age ranges in Glenmary missions or in a structured volunteer program like the Group Volunteer Program at Joppa Mountain in Grainger County, Tenn.

The goal of both these programs is to provide outreach to those in need. But there is something else that happens when volunteers spend a week, a month or even a year in volunteer service. That something, according to Glenmary volunteer director Joe Grosek, is that the volunteers find they receive far more than they give.

After a year of service as a manager at the now-closed Glenmary Farm in Lewis County, Ky.—the original site of the Group Volunteeer Program—Joe took the position of volunteer director, becoming the first contact for those interested in volunteering with Glenmary.

He travels the country attending volunteer fairs and making contact with folks interested in sharing time and talent in the missions. He places short-term volunteers (usually high school and college groups) and long-term volunteers (Mountain managers) for the Grainger County, Tenn., program.

Volunteers in Glenmary's programs come in all ages, backgrounds and experience levels. They come from far away and as close as the next county.

But they all come for one purpose: to give of themselves to meet the needs of those living in the home missions. And, as a result of that service, they leave just as the help-wanted ad said they would: feeling like they have been given much more than they gave.