Service is a part of who I am and makes me feel whole. It makes my heart beat, and I love allowing people to feel seen and heard. Even though service is my passion, I really feel so grateful for the quality time that I get to spend with my community members. After a long day of service, I find so much joy and peace when I get to sit at the dinner table or couch with my community members as we debrief at the end of our day. We talk about such meaningful experiences in our day and deeply share that with one another. This brings each one of us closer. It makes me feel so grateful to be around those who also want to make people they serve feel loved. It points out what has brought each one of us to the Augustinian Volunteer program- a passion for compassion. I really enjoy carving out time to get to understand more about this passion in my community members. I especially enjoy spending time with my community members outside of the house in the San Diego area. This makes sharing ourselves and our loves with one another more special because we’re doing so in the larger community we serve in San Diego. I feel so grateful to be able to explore a new city with people with whom I share so much joy and passion.
What makes deeply sharing experiences of our daily service with my community members so unique to the Augustinian Volunteer program is the program’s pillar of intentional community. Intentional community is purposely making space for each member to share their heart and having that be received by the other members. It also means making it a priority in day-to-day life to learn more about one’s community members and to grow with them. I feel exceptionally blessed to have been able to fully take part in this with my community members. I find myself diving deeper into my individual relationships with my community members every day. We go out of our way to make one another feel cared for and supported. We create a space of understanding for one another. In that atmosphere, our intentional community is able to grow in a beautiful way. Right from the first day of our Augustinian Volunteer program Orientation, our program directors placed the individual city communities together for group discussions, in order to allow us to get to know each of us better. What’s special about the program is that since that first day of Orientation, every day my community members and I continue to strive to get to know each other more deeply.
San Diego, CA 2021-2022