Jan 3

Springwell partners with Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) to support our Home Delivered Meals Program

IVC volunteers with Springwell staff

Springwell is an essential part of the social safety net for thousands of older adults each year and one of the first services often needed is home delivered meals. The Home Delivered Meals Program provides over 800 hot lunches daily 5 days per week. The demand for home delivered meals continues to grow and so does the need for more drivers to get hot meals out in a timely manner. Fortunately, to help this effort, Dr. Rosemary Balady, a devoted Springwell home delivered meals driver, introduced Springwell to IVC.

Dave Hinchen, Regional Director for IVC New England shared some of the more recent history with us: “In the 1950s, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) was formed and attracted many young adults who committed to 1-2 years of service to combat poverty in the United States. Over time, older people were attracted to this idea but sought a program where they could live in their own homes. IVC was established 28 years ago for adults aged 50 or better and has 20 regional groups. Those who serve as Ignatian Volunteers are eagerly moving to a new phase of their lives. Their backgrounds are broad. Ignatian Volunteers either have retired from their primary careers or work fewer hours as they move towards retirement.”

IVC Volunteers commit to work two days a week for 10 months a year and play critical roles for the partner nonprofit agencies and the clients they serve. In addition to the time they spend serving a partner organization, the volunteers keep a journal about their experience, meet monthly for spiritual reflection, and meet as a community each month with other local IVC volunteers. Hinchen shares that the spiritual basis and community support of IVC is helpful in difficult situations. “They share stories and come together as part of a bigger whole. The volunteers find great meaning that is as much help to them as to the people they are helping.”

“Springwell is a great partner for IVC because they serve people who are in need,” notes Hinchen. “During the pandemic, it became very important to link IVC volunteers with organizations who continued to do their work because so many places were closed down. Springwell never missed a day of delivering meals and we are pleased to have IVC volunteers support their efforts. Even with the pandemic abating, the opportunity to help Springwell is still perfect for IVC. We find our volunteers who stay the longest are the ones who are part of the community and many IVC volunteers conveniently live in Springwell’s service area.”

The support of volunteers is vital to Springwell. We appreciate the partnership with IVC and are grateful for all our volunteers. To learn more about volunteering with IVC, please go here. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Springwell, please go here.