For over 30 years St. Ambrose has partnered with different institutions to connect young adults with volunteer opportunities. I am a member of one of their partners, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC). As a LVC volunteer, we are sent out all over the country to pair with different non-profits for a year of service with very intentional goals. Our training strongly encourages us to become immersed in a community. They told us to get to know the neighborhood, and more importantly our neighbors, with the underlying goal of what LVC refers to as “building inclusive community.” We are encouraged to facilitate strong networks of diverse and unique people.
I find it remarkable and so exciting to have a placement that is taking physical and concrete steps to meet this seemingly abstract goal. In my few short weeks working with St. Ambrose I have seen the commitment to building up neighborhoods—not just by providing houses, but by building communities. I have seen the strong desire to connect community members with each other by creating quality and stable homes where people feel comfortable and excited about building a life integrated with their neighbors. From Homesharing, to renovation, to counseling and more, I am eager to work with St. Ambrose as they engage the community to make it stronger.
Before coming to Baltimore, I knew little about the city. Through St. Ambrose, I am starting to feel a little more connected by learning important history and discovering some specific needs of the community. I am looking forward to this year, and to making this place my home.