Pedro Arrupe Volunteers

 

Put your faith into action by volunteering in our community!

During the current Covid 19 crises, the five boroughs of NYC and the Bronx County in particular, have been exceptionally impacted by underlying systemic issues that existed before the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the University Neighborhood Housing Program Blog 6/2/20 Bronx reality before Covid is manifesting Deadly and Devastating Results

The Bronx “has the highest proportion of racial/ethnic minorities, the most persons living in poverty, and the lowest levels of educational attainment” of the five boroughs.

Some of the issues Bronxites are struggling with are: crowded living conditions (number of people in a dwelling), household incomes are very low while household rent is relatively high (median rent increased more than twice the amount of median household income from 2010 - 2018), occupational exposures, comorbid illnesses and unequal access to healthcare, and race-based structural inequalities. Since many are essential or face-to-face workers, there has been a higher rate of Coronavirus infection and also of job loss in Bronx County.

For more detailed information about the impact of the pandemic in the Bronx, University Neighborhood Housing Program

There are two main components of the Pedro Arrupe Volunteers - direct service and engagement with our neighbors and community partners and educating for a faith that does justice through our Common Grounds Conversations speaker series exploring the impact of Covid-19 on marginalized populations, faithful citizenship and the election, racism, humane migration, mass incarceration, access inequality and environmental justice issues. 

 

  • PAV is a multifaith and interfaith student-led community with the mission to accompany our Bronx and greater NYC area neighbors in prayer, service, solidarity, and reflection.

    Our community welcomes you to join us as we engage with the struggle for justice with our neighbors through a variety of service opportunities. Our ultimate goal is community engagement; nurturing and sustaining relationships between the Fordham community and our neighbors in the Bronx and NYC.

    There are two main components of the Pedro Arrupe Volunteers - direct service and engagement with our neighbors and community partners and educating for a faith that does justice through our Common Grounds Conversations speaker series exploring the impact of Covid19 on marginalized populations, faithful citizenship and the election, Racism, humane migration, mass incarceration, access inequality and environmental justice issues. 

    “Through our service programs we can learn more about ourselves and how we relate or do not relate to others, about our fears and biases, about our hidden strengths and unexpected tenderness...we help, not as superior to other persons, but as brothers or sisters. It is graceful to take time to see; it Is even more graceful to take time to let our hearts be touched, to enter into the world of another person."

  • We provide opportunities for short term engagement with our community through direct service and exploration of current issues through our Conversations speaker and discussion series.  Due to the social distancing and quarantine requirements of Covid 19, we have developed remote service opportunities in deference to the needs of our community partners.

    We work with churches and other organizations in our Bronx and Lincoln Center communities, and some of our former projects include:

    The level of commitment ranges from participating in one or more projects to joining the Pedro Arrupe Leadership Council and helping to determine and lead our projects.

    We value the relationships we have made with our community. If you commit to volunteering on a particular day, we trust that you’ll be there. Please let us know as soon as possible if you will no longer be able to attend a project.

  • We build a community with fellow project volunteers and our neighbors in the Bronx by immersing ourselves in service opportunities, prayer, reflection, and discussions during our Common Grounds Conversation speaker series. 

    We challenge volunteers to lean into discomfort--we encourage open minds in order to best feed their souls!
     

  • We are present in our own faith backgrounds, with an openness to meet our neighbors wherever they are. We seek to share in meaningful experience with all those we encounter and to acknowledge our shared human dignity.

    Reflection and prayer are about journeying through life with some guides and maps; about letting God find a home in us. But prayer and reflection are also about our pain, our losses, and our failures...the human heart can soar but it can also break. Sometimes, too, prayer and reflection can lead us to outrage at the evil people inflict on one another—like racism, sexism, economic tyranny, and political oppression.  It can lead us to mourn or protest the contradiction between God's design and the kind of world in which we currently live.

    On service programs, the idea of reflection is to bring the lived experience of the day into dialogue with something larger than the self. Reflection is the human ability to search for meaning in all life's events. Prayer is that same human reflection but done in the company of God.  

    We encourage you to reflect on your experiences allowing intentional thought as you are present in service.

    We are people of many different faiths, in service with others.
     

  • "To be just, is not enough to refrain from injustice. One must go further and refuse to play its game, substituting love for self interest as the driving force of society." - Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

    Pedro Arrupe, S.J., served as Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983. He is remembered for his commitment to social justice and serving the needs of the poor. Our community emulates Fr. Arrupe's example of love for "the least of our neighbors" and his call to "proclaim the Gospel" that demands of us "a commitment to promote justice and enter into solidarity with the voiceless and the powerless."

    During his time with the Jesuits, Fr. Arrupe was especially supportive of those who worked with the poo in Central and South America. Fr. Arrupe was as well a great advocate for liberation theology which he taught as the suffering endured by the victims of war and poverty with Christ’s compassion and that alleviating the one through justice was honoring the other in faith. He was described by many as “a second Ignatius” and practiced Zen meditation daily as well as social justice advocacy.  

  • We have developed projects such as homework help tutoring, reading to children, helping to file housing applications and administrative support in deference to the needs of our community partners.  Our community partners are adapting to current Covid restrictions and finding ways to provide essential services to meet the great needs of our communities.  To advance a faith that does justice, PAV will promote encounters and conversations that challenge the reduction of persons to abstractions where “there are no citizens, only votes; no poor, only thresholds of poverty; no migrants, only quotas; no workers, only economic markers” (Pope Francis) through our Common Grounds Conversation series.

     

  • The Mexican Coalition / Coalición Mexicana has recently expanded from their Bronx location to Brooklyn, and is interested in hosting volunteers and interns who want to help immigrants improve their quality of life by teaching English, preparing for their naturalization with document preparation and tutoring for the citizenship test, and/or assisting the Mexican Coalition with their social media presence. They are also looking to hire a person who could help with grant writing. 

     

    Location: Brooklyn (Sunset Park Area) @ 480 59th St, Brooklyn NY 11220. Suite 2L

    Commitment: 6-8 weeks for 6-8 hrs per week, to teach ESL, Civics, and/or assist with social media.
    --------------------
    Creston Avenue Baptist Church Soup Kitchen is also looking for summer volunteers to help prepare and serve ~200 meals on Saturdays to people experiencing food scarcity. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your Belmont neighbors! 
     
    Location: 114 E 188th St, Bronx NY 10468 (15 min walk up Fordham Road from Rose Hill)
    Commitment: Sign up in advance for the date/s you can commit to by emailing Bonnie Martin - enchantedmartin@yahoo.comSaturdays from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. 
    --------------------
    Xavier Mission is seeking volunteers on weekends to help in the clothing room, food pantry and to serve meals at The Welcome Table on Sundays (the only soup kitchen open on Sundays in NYC).  
     
    Location: 55 W 15th St, New York NY 10011
    Commitment: Sign up in advance for the date/s you can commit to on the www.xaviermission.org/volunteer
    --------------------
    Part of the Solution (POTS) has volunteer opportunities from Monday to Saturday to help bag produce, move heavy boxes, and help pack lunch for distribution. 
     
    Location: 2759 Webster Ave, Bronx NY 10458 (<10 min walk from Rose Hill)
    Commitment:  Sign up in advance for the date/s you can commit to https://potsbronx.org/english/get-involved/volunteer/
    Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 11:30 am, or 12 pm to 3:30 pm.
    --------------------
    There are many statewide sites that you can check out such as Volunteer New York to find volunteer work that meets your interests close to home.
     
    If you are interested in any of these opportunities, you can reach out to the organizations directly.