Each spring during National Volunteer Week, the Little Sisters host a volunteer luncheon. The Order of Malta assists in organizing the award recognition program and join in celebrating the Mass preceding the luncheon.
“The dedication of the volunteers is inspiring,” stated Mary Winzen, D.M., who supervises the volunteer office and tracks hours. “In recent years, we have recognized a total of seven volunteers with 30 years of service and 13 volunteers for 25 years.”
There are currently over 125 active volunteers in our Home helping where needed in crafts, activities, ceramics, laundry, the dining room, the volunteer office, music, visiting, feeding, sewing and, of course, the popular yearly holiday boutique. The service contributed in 2012 totaled an impressive 23,935 hours.
The volunteer program in our Home has a long and interesting history. It dates back to the mid-1970’s. At a meeting of the Order of Malta, held at our Home in Boyle Heights, members discussed creating auxiliaries that would offer personal service to the sick and the poor. Our Home was chosen for the first formalized auxiliary.
To be inducted, a volunteer was required to complete 300 hours and three years of service and plan to continue their work of 100 hours of service each year. This standard remains in place today.
In 1979 as the move to San Pedro became eminent, Grace Byrnes, a Dame of Malta, enlisted other members to transport Residents to the new Home on moving day. Thus our relationship with the Order of Malta and its new auxiliary for volunteers was transferred to Jeanne Jugan Residents.
In San Pedro, other Knights and Dames continued to assist with the volunteer group known as the Jeanne Jugan Auxiliary of the Order of Malta.
We are most grateful to our volunteers and the amazing service they provide to our Residents. We also thank the Order of Malta for generously guiding and supporting this auxiliary.
To see a slideshow of the day’s events, click here.