Question of the Week: Where Do You Volunteer?


Question of the Week at

Volunteers: schools, communities and churches can’t get along without them. If there were no volunteers, our parishes would have no catechists, our children’s soccer teams wouldn’t have coaches, and there would be no one to bake cupcakes for the class party. We’re all busy, but it’s important to find a way to give back–even a small way.

I used to volunteer in the lunchroom at my kids’ school, but when one parish school closed, I found that the lunchroom in the new school wasn’t a good fit for me. I stuck it out for the year I’d committed to, but dreaded the experience more and more each week. Over the summer, I considered what other things I could do to help at school. I don’t enjoy running PTA fundraisers like wrapping-paper sales (though I always contributed to the bake sales) and I’d be useless as a basketball coach. Instead, I approached the school librarian to see if she needed someone to help shelve books for an hour or two a week.

Ten years later, even though all my children have graduated from this school, I’m still shelving books and stamping cards in that library one afternoon each week. It’s something I enjoy, and it helps the very busy school librarian to focus on teaching library skills instead of using her time figuring out who has overdue books and putting books away.

Where do you volunteer in your school, parish or community? What do you like best about the volunteer work you do?

Please share your answers and experiences in the comment box below.

Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS



About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom, Secular Franciscan, managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at Her three children range in age from high school to young adult, and she enjoys writing, cooking, and reading. Barb is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

1 Comment

  1. I have always volunteered even when working, but now I am retired and most of my life is volunteering.
    I started with the church (parish), when I gave up my business, our parish didn’t want help so I would rule that out, not so easy. Very disappointed. So I started joining the different ministries in our parish. I think I have joined almost all of them now, except Knight of Columbus, they wouldn’t let me in without my husband. After filtering the groups, I have got it down to 3. The Mom’s group of St. Gregory the Great, gives me the energy, fellowship and positive outlook I need each day. Most of the mom’s are
    raising their kids, so I am inviting friends who have raised their kids similar to me, so we can all learn from our age differences. #2 Mental Health Ministry in two parishes. During my process of retiring, I had depression. At that time I got no help from my parish. It is a horrible time, when you are alone. Never, never, never, do I want anyone to have to go through that, so I work very hard to share resources to those in need. #3. Just started a “Catholic Book Club”. I am selfish with this one. I have tons of books I have never read. spiritual, theology. I will now be accountable to friends to get them read. It is different from most book clubs. “Catholic books only”, and we exchange books each meeting. If you can’t make the meeting, send an e-mail about the book. I got some good ideas on Amazon’s goodread about viritual members. I am very excited about that. Also, in San Diego, the diocese and the parishes, are really getting out their for adult faith formation. It’s almost feels like they are competing, who can get the best speakers. That’s okay for me, I go all over, the Roaming Catholic, when I refer to myself. There is so much going on I can’t go to everything, wish I could.

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