Dominican Volunteers USA

Dominican Volunteers USA Committed to the liberation and equity of those most marginalized and guided by the Dominican Charism, Dominican Volunteers USA invests time and energy working toward systemic change through ministry, study, prayer, and community.

Through intentional relationships, conversation, and action, Dominican Volunteers USA invites people of all ages to journey with us for 11 months as volunteers.

Operating as usual

“As a DV, I am now lucky enough to have an opportunity to move beyond my safe space and I am learning that the homeless ...
12/17/2021

“As a DV, I am now lucky enough to have an opportunity to move beyond my safe space and I am learning that the homeless have a very strong and faithful community, that they watch out and care for one another and that they really want to survive. They are first always genuinely happy to see us when we arrive and they want to catch up with us. Following our “catch up”’ they then welcome anything we may have brought along, coats, food, etc. They are surviving, in spite of Covid, the weather getting colder and the lack of things I cannot imagine not having.
I have been thinking about my own life and what “survive” has meant to me. I have discovered that I don’t really use the word survive in reference to myself because I think that I WILL survive - at least a few more years. I have family and friends who have, do, and most likely will be around to support me in surviving as long as that is appropriate. I’ve never really had to view my life as “surviving” it. I know that I will have a next meal whenever and whatever I want. I know I will be comfortable in a bed at night and I will be as warm or as cool as I desire. I know I can take a shower and have clean clothes whenever I want. I know I can buy “it” if I forget “it”. I have an ID and insurance and if I lose my cards, I can replace them with minimal effort because I have an address.
I was taken aback the other day when one of our homeless had lost her wallet when she was sleeping on the train the night before. “It had everything I have in it! My ID, my money…! What am I going to do? How can I survive? I’m just trying to survive!” I thought about my life. My surviving takes a LOT less effort than hers does. I thought about why I want to survive and realized that it’s because of my relationships. I’m heading home to be with my family to celebrate my birthday and Thanksgiving. My heart is filled with love and anticipation. Today at Siena House, my ministry site, we celebrated my birthday and Thanksgiving with takeout Chinese food and cake. My day was filled with love, hugs and fist bumps from staff and moms.
As the Dominicans say “at the heart of ministry is relationship”.
From current volunteer, Andrea Meyer. Support Andrea's ministry with a gift to DVUSA this holiday season! https://dvusa.org/donate-now/

“As a DV, I am now lucky enough to have an opportunity to move beyond my safe space and I am learning that the homeless have a very strong and faithful community, that they watch out and care for one another and that they really want to survive. They are first always genuinely happy to see us when we arrive and they want to catch up with us. Following our “catch up”’ they then welcome anything we may have brought along, coats, food, etc. They are surviving, in spite of Covid, the weather getting colder and the lack of things I cannot imagine not having.
I have been thinking about my own life and what “survive” has meant to me. I have discovered that I don’t really use the word survive in reference to myself because I think that I WILL survive - at least a few more years. I have family and friends who have, do, and most likely will be around to support me in surviving as long as that is appropriate. I’ve never really had to view my life as “surviving” it. I know that I will have a next meal whenever and whatever I want. I know I will be comfortable in a bed at night and I will be as warm or as cool as I desire. I know I can take a shower and have clean clothes whenever I want. I know I can buy “it” if I forget “it”. I have an ID and insurance and if I lose my cards, I can replace them with minimal effort because I have an address.
I was taken aback the other day when one of our homeless had lost her wallet when she was sleeping on the train the night before. “It had everything I have in it! My ID, my money…! What am I going to do? How can I survive? I’m just trying to survive!” I thought about my life. My surviving takes a LOT less effort than hers does. I thought about why I want to survive and realized that it’s because of my relationships. I’m heading home to be with my family to celebrate my birthday and Thanksgiving. My heart is filled with love and anticipation. Today at Siena House, my ministry site, we celebrated my birthday and Thanksgiving with takeout Chinese food and cake. My day was filled with love, hugs and fist bumps from staff and moms.
As the Dominicans say “at the heart of ministry is relationship”.
From current volunteer, Andrea Meyer. Support Andrea's ministry with a gift to DVUSA this holiday season! https://dvusa.org/donate-now/

Today we hear from current volunteer, Karen Schrage. Karen is living and working in the Bronx with the Dominican Sisters...
12/17/2021

Today we hear from current volunteer, Karen Schrage. Karen is living and working in the Bronx with the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt. This is what she had to say about her experience:
“Just four months ago I had no way of knowing what my year as a Dominican Volunteer would involve. In this short time I have met the other volunteers and have grown to love the women in my living community and the people and work at my ministry site. The August orientation with the other volunteers and Megan and Stephanie was a great start to the year, and I’m excited to continue the Call to Allyship series with this group plus many other members of the Dominican community.

I am so thankful for the community at home with the Sisters and the other Dominican Volunteer. Little did I know a few months ago how much I would enjoy morning prayer at 5:55 AM, the dinners we share together, the clean-up time, and TV in the evenings.

I am also thankful for all the people I have met at Siena House--both the staff and the residents. I’m very happy to be here in New York, closer to family as well. And of course, I am deeply thankful for all the love and support I have received from each of you as I made this move.”
To support Karen’s work, please make a donation to DVUSA this holiday season!

Today we hear from current volunteer, Karen Schrage. Karen is living and working in the Bronx with the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt. This is what she had to say about her experience:
“Just four months ago I had no way of knowing what my year as a Dominican Volunteer would involve. In this short time I have met the other volunteers and have grown to love the women in my living community and the people and work at my ministry site. The August orientation with the other volunteers and Megan and Stephanie was a great start to the year, and I’m excited to continue the Call to Allyship series with this group plus many other members of the Dominican community.

I am so thankful for the community at home with the Sisters and the other Dominican Volunteer. Little did I know a few months ago how much I would enjoy morning prayer at 5:55 AM, the dinners we share together, the clean-up time, and TV in the evenings.

I am also thankful for all the people I have met at Siena House--both the staff and the residents. I’m very happy to be here in New York, closer to family as well. And of course, I am deeply thankful for all the love and support I have received from each of you as I made this move.”
To support Karen’s work, please make a donation to DVUSA this holiday season!

Today we hear from current volunteer - Erinn Toth. Erin lives with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and works at All Saints ...
12/15/2021

Today we hear from current volunteer - Erinn Toth. Erin lives with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and works at All Saints Literacy Centerin Southwest Detroit. This is what she had to say about her experience.

"I work for All Saints Literacy Center during the day, in which I help a small office staff and tutor two adult learners.
It has been such a pleasure to work alongside the people in Southwest Detroit. Hopefully, I have shared my love and joy with them and am grateful for the chance to call them friends."

To support Erin's incredible work consider making a donation to DVUSA this holiday season! To donate, click here: https://dvusa.org/donate-now/

Today we hear from current volunteer - Erinn Toth. Erin lives with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and works at All Saints Literacy Centerin Southwest Detroit. This is what she had to say about her experience.

"I work for All Saints Literacy Center during the day, in which I help a small office staff and tutor two adult learners.
It has been such a pleasure to work alongside the people in Southwest Detroit. Hopefully, I have shared my love and joy with them and am grateful for the chance to call them friends."

To support Erin's incredible work consider making a donation to DVUSA this holiday season! To donate, click here: https://dvusa.org/donate-now/

At the heart of ministry is relationship…Over the years DVUSA has witnessed joy, tears, struggles, and growth, through o...
12/14/2021

At the heart of ministry is relationship…

Over the years DVUSA has witnessed joy, tears, struggles, and growth, through our volunteers, who were fiercely dedicated to peace, justice and liberation. We have witnessed communities evolve or close, staff turnover, and programmatic changes. But, what always stayed consistent over these 20+ years has been our commitment to fostering genuine relationships, with the communities we work with and with each other - mutual relationships rooted in respect, love, and accountability. This week, we want to highlight the relationships our current volunteers are engaging in. We’re starting off with Elizabeth! Our DV at the St. Francis Center in Redwood City, CA.

“Four days a week, I work 1 on 1 with around 8 moms spread out across the
days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I co-teach physical education with an Americorps
volunteer named Jenny...Our Holy Family 8th graders are learning
about 3D printing, and I am the one teaching this course which includes grading and
exams...I [also] help manage and run the afterschool program at Siena Youth
Center. This includes academic support, leading activities, and my STEM girls club.
Everyday is a learning opportunity, and there is no such thing as following a lesson plan or schedule exactly. However, I have also developed those relationships with students and get my fair share of hugs and appreciation, so I also understand why [my sister] loves it so much. I can’t say for sure that teaching is my life career like her, but I thoroughly appreciate this opportunity. All of my kiddos are big huggers, and one day, one of my students while hugging me, told me her day was better because she got to hug me that day. California has my heart for more reasons than just the weather.”

If you would like to support Elizabeth’s journey as we complete our final Dominican Volunteer Year, follow the link below!

At the heart of ministry is relationship…

Over the years DVUSA has witnessed joy, tears, struggles, and growth, through our volunteers, who were fiercely dedicated to peace, justice and liberation. We have witnessed communities evolve or close, staff turnover, and programmatic changes. But, what always stayed consistent over these 20+ years has been our commitment to fostering genuine relationships, with the communities we work with and with each other - mutual relationships rooted in respect, love, and accountability. This week, we want to highlight the relationships our current volunteers are engaging in. We’re starting off with Elizabeth! Our DV at the St. Francis Center in Redwood City, CA.

“Four days a week, I work 1 on 1 with around 8 moms spread out across the
days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I co-teach physical education with an Americorps
volunteer named Jenny...Our Holy Family 8th graders are learning
about 3D printing, and I am the one teaching this course which includes grading and
exams...I [also] help manage and run the afterschool program at Siena Youth
Center. This includes academic support, leading activities, and my STEM girls club.
Everyday is a learning opportunity, and there is no such thing as following a lesson plan or schedule exactly. However, I have also developed those relationships with students and get my fair share of hugs and appreciation, so I also understand why [my sister] loves it so much. I can’t say for sure that teaching is my life career like her, but I thoroughly appreciate this opportunity. All of my kiddos are big huggers, and one day, one of my students while hugging me, told me her day was better because she got to hug me that day. California has my heart for more reasons than just the weather.”

If you would like to support Elizabeth’s journey as we complete our final Dominican Volunteer Year, follow the link below!

Dear Dominican Family,We hope everyone has been having a joyful and peaceful advent season!As many of you already know, ...
12/13/2021

Dear Dominican Family,
We hope everyone has been having a joyful and peaceful advent season!

As many of you already know, DVUSA has been going through a period of transition as we will be closing our doors on an illustrious 20-year history.
Although we are sad at DVUSA’s closing, we (and we hope you) are proud of the impact this program has had on people’s lives. The Dominican charism lives on in each and every one of us, and our mission is to carry on the Gospel and to continue to preach what the program has
taught us, with our lives.
You will hear more from us in the coming months, as we celebrate all that DVUSA is, was, and will be.

Despite this news, however, we want to remind you that we still have a great group of volunteers who continue to be committed to, Ministry, Community, Prayer, and Study.
Elizabeth, Erinn, Andrea and Karen are are still working full time, engaging in Call to Allyship monthly conversations, and fostering relationships in their respective communities. Come the New Year, Staff will be conducting site visits, and we will all gather in New York for one final Midyear retreat that will re energize us as we move into the last half of the year, until Closing. We hope you will support us with a financial gift this holiday season to ensure the current volunteers have a full experience through the summer of 2022.

Stay tuned this week, to learn more about what our volunteers have been up to and how you can continue to support their work!

Dear Dominican Family,
We hope everyone has been having a joyful and peaceful advent season!

As many of you already know, DVUSA has been going through a period of transition as we will be closing our doors on an illustrious 20-year history.
Although we are sad at DVUSA’s closing, we (and we hope you) are proud of the impact this program has had on people’s lives. The Dominican charism lives on in each and every one of us, and our mission is to carry on the Gospel and to continue to preach what the program has
taught us, with our lives.
You will hear more from us in the coming months, as we celebrate all that DVUSA is, was, and will be.

Despite this news, however, we want to remind you that we still have a great group of volunteers who continue to be committed to, Ministry, Community, Prayer, and Study.
Elizabeth, Erinn, Andrea and Karen are are still working full time, engaging in Call to Allyship monthly conversations, and fostering relationships in their respective communities. Come the New Year, Staff will be conducting site visits, and we will all gather in New York for one final Midyear retreat that will re energize us as we move into the last half of the year, until Closing. We hope you will support us with a financial gift this holiday season to ensure the current volunteers have a full experience through the summer of 2022.

Stay tuned this week, to learn more about what our volunteers have been up to and how you can continue to support their work!

Andrea brings us our first blog of the year!Andrea continues to work in The Bronx at Siena House; a transitional home fo...
11/30/2021

Andrea brings us our first blog of the year!

Andrea continues to work in The Bronx at Siena House; a transitional home for women and infants. In the 3 years that she has been with DVUSA, she has seen Siena House before and after the pandemic and has witnessed some of the injustices perpetuated by unfair and underfunded housing systems.

In this blog post, Andrea shares of the wisdom she's gathered about relationships over the years and how these are instrumental in how we show up for justice.

Read more below:
https://dvusa.org/blog/surviving/

Andrea brings us our first blog of the year!

Andrea continues to work in The Bronx at Siena House; a transitional home for women and infants. In the 3 years that she has been with DVUSA, she has seen Siena House before and after the pandemic and has witnessed some of the injustices perpetuated by unfair and underfunded housing systems.

In this blog post, Andrea shares of the wisdom she's gathered about relationships over the years and how these are instrumental in how we show up for justice.

Read more below:
https://dvusa.org/blog/surviving/

Thank you to those of you who joined our first Call to Allyship gathering last week!We began unpacking systemic racism w...
11/01/2021

Thank you to those of you who joined our first Call to Allyship gathering last week!
We began unpacking systemic racism while trying to understand our position in this world and how we can leverage our privilege.

Our next gathering will be on December 1st and we will be unpacking Economic Justice. This time around, Karen one of our DVs at Siena House, will be leading discussion!

Also, we have decided to change our recurring gatherings to WEDNESDAYS at 6:30 Central, to accommodate some of our volunteers schedules. Find the updated schedule below where you'll also find access to all of this month's materials.
https://dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/calltoallyshipinvitation

Thank you to those of you who joined our first Call to Allyship gathering last week!
We began unpacking systemic racism while trying to understand our position in this world and how we can leverage our privilege.

Our next gathering will be on December 1st and we will be unpacking Economic Justice. This time around, Karen one of our DVs at Siena House, will be leading discussion!

Also, we have decided to change our recurring gatherings to WEDNESDAYS at 6:30 Central, to accommodate some of our volunteers schedules. Find the updated schedule below where you'll also find access to all of this month's materials.
https://dominicanvolunteersusa.salsalabs.org/calltoallyshipinvitation

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533. Ashland Ave.
River Forest, IL
60305

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

(312) 226-0919

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Through intentional relationships, conversation, and action, Dominican Volunteers USA invites people of all ages, to journey with us for 11 months as volunteers. Committed to the liberation and equity of those most marginalized, and guided by the Dominican Charism, DVUSA invests time and energy working toward systemic change through ministry, study, prayer, and community.

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Watch The Rome Boys Show as we discuss the life and miracles of St. Dominic. St. Dominic, pray for us! 🙏⛪😎
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The celebrations of the season will soon draw to an end, but let's not forget those who celebrate a birthday in January. We have this heirloom quality, garnet gemstone rosary, one of our most popular, and it's an ideal gift for anyone born in the month of January.
We are thrilled to welcome a new group of volunteers from Amate House, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Dominican Volunteers USA and interns from Loyola University Chicago, Dominican University, and Northeastern Illinois University! We had a great virtual training day last week and they're looking forward to beginning their time as Compañerx at Taller de José. ----------------- ¡Estamos encantados de dar la bienvenida a un nuevo grupo de voluntarios de Amate House, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Dominican Volunteers USA y pasantes de Loyola University Chicago, Dominican University y Northeastern Illinois University! Tuvimos un gran día de entrenamiento virtual la semana pasada y están emocionados por comenzar su tiempo como Compañerx en Taller de José.
Current and former CVN volunteers from varying backgrounds talk about finding their "seat at the table" within a faith-based service program. This video featured five volunteers with unique stories of how service strengthened their identity. This video features volunteers from Assumption Mission Associates - AMA, Dominican Volunteers USA, Rostro de Cristo, and Red Cloud Volunteer Program. For more information, visit: https://catholicvolunteernetwork.org/serve/
Volunteering is not only an investment in the community you are serving, it is also an investment in yourself and your career. In this video you'll hear volunteer stories about how service impacted their future plans and positioned them for success in their career. The video features volunteers from Red Cloud Volunteer Program, Assumption Mission Associates - AMA, Rostro de Cristo, and Dominican Volunteers USA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lizyNlUzniI&t=5s More info on our Choose Service video series can be found here: https://catholicvolunteernetwork.org/serve/
We love to hear what our volunteer alumni are up to! Check out this National Catholic Reporter article about the Benincasa community in New York, founded by former members of Dominican Volunteers USA. https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/grace-margins/benincasa-community-new-model-religious-life-unfolds
"'Who have you been a neighbor to?" Sean Puzzo shares gratitude for the connections forged with Dominican Volunteers USA. Thank you, Sean, for your dedication to #servingwithsisters and for inviting us to journey this year with you! Read more on CVN's blog: http://ow.ly/Q2Fm50vyAv4
Just a few days left to double the impact of your contribution! Please help us honor Michael Chapuran, the 1st recipient of the DVUSA Frassati Award, and meet our $1,500 fundraising goal; the first $1,500 raised will be matched by a generous donor. We’re 1/3 of the way to our goal. Every little bit helps!