Local News and Stories

The essential role of volunteers at Catholic Community Service

As the year shifts away from summer, we breathe a sigh of gratitude for the easy summer days that blessed us this year. Fall and winter are the tougher seasons — and this is especially true for the most vulnerable among us — so, at Catholic Community Service, we are gearing up to help.

I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all who participated in the Diocese Special Collection for Catholic Community Service last month. It was an honor and a pleasure for me to speak at parishes across Southeast Alaska. I was inspired by new friendships and encouraged by anecdotes from individuals and families who have benefitted from our services.

Thank you for sharing your stories and support.

It is a challenge to provide quality care at little or no cost to our clients. It is primarily due to the generosity of local donors that we may continue this work. However, financial aid is not the only way to make a substantial contribution to Catholic Community Services and to help empower our mission!

Volunteers have played an essential role in our organization since its conception over 45 years ago. Today we run senior centers in 14 communities throughout the Diocese of Juneau. Our senior centers provide more than just hot, nutritious meals. They are places to connect, socialize, learn something new, and participate in engaging activities. Each senior center offers a unique variety of activities and events.

Volunteering at these centers goes a long way toward supporting the dignity of our elders, and providing them with compassionate, dynamic, and inclusive life experiences that every person deserves.

Volunteer opportunities include (but are not limited to) helping serve meals at senior centers and providing music or other entertainment during or after lunches, or teaching classes or providing activities for seniors– such as beading, exercise, health promotion, computer skills, discussion of local history or cultural activities, bingo calling and more.

In Juneau, there are additional volunteer opportunities, as the delivery of Meals on Wheels lunches to homebound seniors is entirely done by volunteers. Our Hospice program also needs volunteers for a variety of things—from sitting with a patient to shopping and chores for the family, or even delivery of hospital beds to patient homes.

Please consider how you can join us in contributing to the corporal works of mercy of the Catholic church through donation, volunteering, or even helping us to reach out to a loved one or neighbor in need.

If you are a senior looking to enjoy what our centers have to offer, or you’d like to become a volunteer and invigorate our program with new ideas and activities, we welcome you with open arms!

For more information about the senior center near you, call Southeast Senior Services at 463-6177

Volunteers can sign up online at ccsjuneau.org/ways-to-support

It is an honor to do this good work. I am so humbled and grateful to be a part of it with all of you.

God Bless,
Erin Walker-Tolles