Not everyone can spend a year or two as a full-time volunteer. That’s why some long-term faith-based volunteer programs have started offering new opportunities for those with only a week or a summer to spare.
Though short-term programs are sometimes criticized as superficial fixes, Katherine Hamm, S.C., says programs like the ones she helps run through the Sisters of Charity of New York are less about the type of work and more about building relationships.
Through Charity in the City, young women serve in soup kitchens and in other ways. The Sisters of Charity also offer volunteer opportunities on their nearby organic farm.
Sister Hamm has also assisted with volunteer trips to New Orleans. “No one thinks we’re going to change the world in a week. But for the one woman whose house we were working on, we were giving her hope,” she said. “You’re planting seeds, so people see how change happens, and people see how their gifts are recognized in this environment. There’s a connectedness between all people who have the time to reach out to others.”