Eva’s Village Celebrates Volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Month

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Each April, during National Volunteer Month, Eva’s Village celebrates the 3,500+ volunteers who contribute their time, energy and talent each year to support Eva's mission and programs. Eva's Village offers recovery and support services, medical care, food and shelter, education and job training to community members in need.

Carol Murray, who volunteers in the Community Kitchen every Tuesday and helps with landscaping projects shared her experiences with the group.

“Collectively we make people’s lives better here.” Carol Murray, Eva's Village Volunteer

On Sunday, April 8, the tables at Eva’s Community Kitchen were turned, when more than 120 volunteers gathered, not to serve others, but to partake in a festive meal honoring their dedication and service to Eva’s Village. Students at Eva’s Culinary School prepared the meal which included hot and cold h’rs d’oeuvres, carving stations with roast turkey, lamb and ham, side dishes and desserts.

Each April during National Volunteer Month, Eva’s Village celebrates 3,000+ volunteers who embody the spirit of giving that lies at the core of the organization’s mission. “Volunteer support has a tremendous impact on the way we deliver services at Eva’s Village. Each volunteer becomes the face of Eva’s Village, welcoming each guest and client with kindness and a warm smile,” remarked Angela Vance, Eva’s Volunteer Coordinator. In the last year, over 3,500 volunteers donated more than 30,000 hours of their time–pitching in to serve meals in Eva’s Community Kitchen, helping clients prepare to re-enter the workforce, working in Eva’s Medical and Dental Clinics, providing peer recovery support, assisting with special events, and working outdoors to beautify Eva’s grounds.

Men and women of all ages volunteer at Eva’s Village; many have been serving for more than three decades. Some come as a group while others who serve individually bond with those who volunteer on the same day of the week. Without exception, Eva’s regular volunteers keep coming back because they find personal meaning and purpose in their work.

Carol Murray shared her volunteer experience with the gathering. She first came to volunteer “looking for a purpose.” Initially, she wondered, “How can one person make a difference?—How can one meal help someone?” As she continued to serve, she realized that “treating each guest with respect, dignity and kindness may change their day.” At Eva’s and in her personal life, she saw how “one good day can lead to another, which can lead to hope, and hope is the first step that becomes a new life for people who are struggling.” She concluded: “giving that gift of hope makes a brighter day for our clients. Collectively we make people’s lives better here.“

More about Eva’s Village

Founded by Msgr. Vincent E. Puma in 1982, Eva’s Kitchen began by serving 30 meals a day to feed the hungry in Paterson. In response to the related issues of poverty, addiction, mental illness and homelessness, programs and services grew out of the original soup kitchen to address the root causes as well as the effects of homelessness and poverty. Today, Eva’s Village is a non-profit, comprehensive, social service organization, offering a range of integrated programs to help those in need move toward stability and independence. The programs address needs in the Paterson and Passaic County communities for recovery and medical services, food and shelter, and education and job training.

More about volunteering at Eva’s Village

Eva’s Village offers many opportunities for individuals and groups to provide hands-on support for its mission and programs. For more information contact Eva’s Volunteer Coordinator.

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Ellen V. Kuhn
Eva's Village
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