Service Opportunities

As disciples of Jesus, we all share in the same mission… in our personal lives, at home, work, school, and church, we strive to be a community of Living Faith, Changing Lives and Making a Difference.

At SJV we believe that service to others is at the core of discipleship. The Social Services Ministries act on the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church and the Corporal Works of Mercy by providing a compassionate response to those in our community in need of assistance.

We provide opportunities for parishioners to get involved and answer God’s call to grow in faith by sharing their unique gifts and talents while serving and reaching out to those in need.

Please note that successful completion of the Safe Haven training is required for all volunteers, whether working with youth or not. This 1.5-hour online program is the replacement for Virtus and should be updated every five years. Use this link to complete the Safe Haven program. 

The following are volunteer opportunities available in our ministry:

Assistance Ministries

Our Assistance Ministries team provides help to families in crisis within the SJV parish boundaries and addresses the causes of their struggles through mentoring, counseling, and empowerment. There are multiple ways for SJV parishioners to volunteer their time and talent in Assistance Ministries, including as (1) Interviewers, (2) Front Desk and Office Assistants, or as a (3) Job Counselors.

  • Interviewers:

Volunteer Responsibilities: Meet with and interview individuals in crisis who are requesting assistance from St. John Vianney Social Services. Provide financial assistance or referrals and maintain client’s information on the Social Services database.

Commitment: One morning a week, or on alternate weeks, for a 3-hour shift. We do require at least a six-month commitment to this schedule.

Requirements: Training is provided by a current Interviewer, and by Social Services staff as needed. Experience working on a computer is helpful but not required.

  • Front Desk and Office Assistants:

Volunteer Responsibilities: Assist by answering phones and greeting visitors at our front desk, scheduling appointments, making copies, helping keep the office organized, and assisting with incoming donations and special projects as needed.

Commitment: One morning or afternoon a week, or on alternate weeks, for a 3-hour shift. We do request at least a six-month commitment to this schedule.

Requirements: Training is provided by a current Office Assistant. Experience working on a computer is helpful but not required.

  • Job Counselors:

Volunteer Responsibilities: Assist SJV parishioners or others referred by SJV Social Services staff with résumé preparation, interview skills, and hands-on guidance through the job search process.

Commitment: Flexible, daytime appointments as scheduled by candidates. Each appointment takes about 1.5 hours with the candidate. Future appointments depend on candidate taking steps to further the process.

Requirements: Knowledge and experience in helping build and prepare various types of résumés, in preparing candidates for interviews and in searching for a wide array of different job types using many different resources.

If you are interested in volunteering with any of these Assistance Ministries, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Joseph's Coat Resale Shop

Joseph’s Coat is SJV’s resale shop which sells high quality, new and used clothing, and other items such as toys, books, housewares, and gift items at very reasonable prices. Volunteers manage and run the shop on a daily basis. All the items for sell are donated by parishioners. The proceeds from Joseph’s Coat benefit SJV’s Social Services Ministry.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Receive and sort donations, price items and stock the shop. Help with customers and work with the cashiers. Volunteers are encouraged to work one three-hour shift during the week (from 10:00 am-1:00 pm or from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm) or one four-hour shift on Saturdays (from 10:00 am-2:00 pm).

Commitment: A minimum of one month commitment is required. However, due to the nature of the ministry we prefer long-term commitments.

Requirements: Training will be provided. Retail experience is welcomed but not required.

You can also help Joseph’s Coat Resale Shop by donating clean, good-quality clothing, housewares, toys, etc.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Note: If any youth is looking for service hours, we have some opportunities available during the times described above. Please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator for more information.

ESL (English as a Second Language

The ESL program offers English classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The program has six different levels ranging from Introductory to Advanced Conversation. All our teachers are volunteers.

Volunteer Responsibilities: teach twice a week (or once a week if team-teaching) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Commitment: One year (from September through May).

Requirements: Previous teaching experience is not required. Training and instruction materials will be provided.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Mentoring Program

Volunteers can help mentor children at one of the following Spring Branch ISD campuses: Nottingham Elementary and Northbrook Middle School.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Mentors do not tutor the students, but rather, they are meant to be positive adult role models and a friend to a child “on the brink of success.” They usually meet with the student at his or her school during the student’s lunch hour.

Commitment: Once weekly during the school year, for about 45 minutes each time.

Requirements: A SBISD application must also be submitted each year for every volunteer and includes a criminal background check and a volunteer approval check in the SBISD Raptor system. Once approved, new mentors will need to attend a 1.5-hour Mentor Training session.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the SBISD Mentor program leader at SBISD Community Relations at 713.251.2468 or mentor@springbranchisd.com.

Respect Life

Under the direction and guidance of the Archdiocese, Respect Life Advocates raise awareness and advocate for the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. Volunteers seek to raise awareness through events and activities throughout the year. Volunteers stand together at various events to pray, united in love to witness and build a culture that honors the life and dignity of every human person.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Varies, but may include participation in various ways through one or more of the following group events and activities: praying the rosary at Planned Parenthood (PP) the last Thursday of each month, praying the rosary at PP during a scheduled 40 Days for Life Campaign, praying the rosary with Helpers of God’s Precious Infants on scheduled Saturdays, attending the Blessings of the Crosses & Rosary for Life in January, participating in or helping organize the SJV Annual Celebration of Life and Family Picnic in May, and promoting or participating in the Archdiocese Office of Pro-Life Activities’ retreats and events.

Commitment: Flexible.

Requirements: None.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Gabriel Project

This pro-life ministry supports mothers faced with a difficult or crisis pregnancy. Volunteers provide practical advice and help as well as spiritual support and Christian witness to mothers in need.

Volunteer Responsibilities: There are 3 different ways to help. (1) Trained “Angels” share their gift of love to support another woman and accompany her through her pregnancy with love, friendship, and emotional support. They also work with SJV Assistance Ministries volunteers to get expectant mothers the material help they need. (2) Layette Makers organize and inventory baby supplies and prepare baskets of baby items for newborns. (3) Phone Volunteers support moms in need by answering calls from pregnant mothers.

Commitment: For Angels, it is flexible, depending on the timing of the assignment and the mother’s due date, but usually once weekly or alternating weeks throughout the pregnancy. For Layette Makers, it is flexible. For Phone Volunteers, the commitment is 4 continuous hours per week on a weekday (Monday through Friday) and can be done from home.

Requirements: Training or coaching from the GP Coordinator (for Angels) or Archdiocese (for Phone Volunteers) is needed. This is also a spiritual commitment requiring prayer time, living a life of faith, and being in good standing with the Church and its teachings. Phone Volunteers also need a familiarity with using email and Google maps.

If you are interested in volunteering as an Angel, Layette Maker or Phone Volunteer, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator. Phone Volunteers should also contact Cathy McConn, GP Archdiocesan Coordinator.

The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place is a stimulating, loving and fun venue that offers a variety of activities for members of the parish community who suffer significant memory loss or dementia caused by Alzheimer’s, stroke, or other form of cognitive dysfunction. It meets the third Friday of each month from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm. The Gathering Place is a partnership between SJV and CarePartners Texas.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Each volunteer is assigned to one participant per meeting and is responsible for helping with the scheduled activities for the day. The meetings take place the third Friday of each month from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm.

Commitment: Flexible.

Requirements: Volunteers are required to complete the training provided by CarePartners Texas which consists of two videos. Also, prospect volunteers will shadow a team member before starting to volunteer.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Service Missions

The Service Missions to Eagle Pass focus on home repairs for the elderly or handicapped poor, home visits of the poor and homebound, community outreach and evangelization, and mission spirituality. Lodging for the team is provided at a Benedictine House run by Sister Ursula Herrera. SJV offers two Service Mission Trips for adults, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.

The team also works on ad-hoc local projects throughout the year. These projects usually last a few days, so the time commitment is more flexible.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Team members are expected to help with construction activities or home visits, trip logistics and work performed by other missions in the area.

Commitment: 3 to 7 days per mission trip.

Requirements: A signed release. Construction experience is not required. Spanish is not required but is welcomed for those doing home visits.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Habitat for Humanity

SJV partners with Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County (HFHNWHC) to help families in need to build a new home. SJV provides funds to pay for construction materials and volunteers to build the homes. Our current project with HFH is scheduled for the spring and summer of 2022 and will be in Tomball, Texas. The duration of the project will span over six Saturdays through June.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Participate in the construction activities required for the construction of the new house. The volunteers will meet on Saturday morning from 8:00 am-12:00 pm.

Commitment: One Saturday build date as available.

Requirements: Two signed releases, one from SJV and one from HFH. Volunteers must be 16 or older to participate. If a minor, they should be accompanied by an adult. Construction experience is not required.

If you are interested in volunteering, please view available workdays here.

Disaster Relief

The Disaster Relief Ministry helps SJV parishioners and others in our community affected by disasters such as weather-related events or individual home disasters, such as a house fire.

The team works on an as-needed, on-call basis on local projects throughout the year. These projects usually last a few days at most, and the time commitment is flexible and often depends on availability of volunteers.

Volunteer Responsibilities: There are two sub-teams: a physical help team and a compassionate care team.

Physical sub-team members are needed to help with manual labor or construction activities (such as demolition work, mucking, and gutting after floods).

Compassionate care sub-team members are needed to assist survivors by connecting them with social support networks and community resources, supporting them emotionally through the experience, and helping them cope with the disaster through practical assistance, such as identifying and addressing immediate needs of the survivors and ways to meet those needs.

Commitment: Flexible. Volunteers will be placed on an “on-call” list for disasters as the need arises. They will be contacted only when an emergency or disaster is anticipated or has happened.

Requirements: A signed release form. Construction experience is not required.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Community Garden

The year-round Community Garden provides fruits and vegetables to Magnificat House and to the individuals and families that come to the SJV Pantry for assistance.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Help with all garden activities including plating seeds, weeding, collecting the harvest and other maintenance-related projects. The main team meets Mondays through Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM but volunteers can come and work in the garden at any time.

Commitment: None.

Requirements: Previous gardening experience is not required.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

SJV at Loaves and Fishes

Loaves & Fishes is a soup kitchen in downtown Houston funded and run by staff and volunteers of Magnificat Houses, Inc., which is a faith-based, non-profit, charitable organization begun by a Catholic social worker, Rose Mary Badami. She started the soup kitchen in 1972 to serve the destitute and chronic street populations of Houston. It has grown to be the largest soup kitchen in Houston and serves over 350 free hot meals each day to hungry people.

Volunteer Responsibilities:  Work alongside other volunteers to prepare and serve the homeless and needy population a hot, freshly made meal from the Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen in downtown Houston.

Commitment: Flexible, according to the individual dates you choose. Each event requires about 4 hours on a Thursday or Saturday morning, including the drive time from and back to St. John Vianney.

Requirements: None.

If you are interested in volunteering or for more information, please utilize the Sign Up links provided here for Saturdays or for Thursdays.

SJV Pantry

The Pantry provides assistance to individuals or families in need in our community. Its focus is on items that cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits. These items include personal hygiene products, household cleaning supplies, baby diapers and wipes. By supplying these items, we also improve the support we give to Gabriel Project’s moms and families.

Volunteer Responsibilities: Help stock shelves with donated items and prepare prepackaged bags for distribution to the recipients. Volunteers are expected to work one hour during pantry hours (Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM).

Commitment: Once a month.

Requirements: None.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

You can also help SJV Pantry by donating the following items: laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher detergent, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, bar soap, handwashing soap, sponges, and cleaning supplies such as Clorox, Lysol, and toilet cleaners.


Other Service Opportunities

Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM)

SJV is a member of MAM’s Congregational Council.  SJV supports MAM by providing financial support and volunteers.  MAM has a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups of all ages. Volunteer opportunities are available during the daytime, evening, and on weekends. Volunteers are needed for the following MAM Programs:

  • Employment Services—Job Coach, Computer Literacy, Employment Program Course Instructors, Employment Mentors
  • Emergency Assistance—Interviewers, Data Entry, Answer Phones
  • Resale Shop—Assist Customers, Sort & Price Donations, etc.
  • ESL —Lead Instructors, Assistants, Tutors

For more information about volunteering with MAM, please contact Pam, Volunteer Coordinator, at 713-574-7540 or pshirk@mamhouston.org. Please tell her that SJV sent you. The commitment time varies.

Senior Rides and More

Just as no one lives forever, neither does anyone drive forever, shop forever, or change light bulbs forever. Senior Rides & More provides direct one-on-one assistance to the frail and elderly within our southwest Houston area community.  Senior Rides & More provides volunteer transportation assistance to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and religious services, as well as minor home repairs, and friendly phone calls.

SJV partners with Senior Rides & More by providing volunteers.

To volunteer, please contact their office at 713-772-8181 or info@vic-sw.org. Please tell them that SJV sent you. The commitment is flexible.

Translators

Assist Social Services in translating the weekly St. John Vianney bulletin from English to Spanish. The commitment is flexible.  Please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

Communications Assistance

For those with experience in Information/Communications Technology, your help is needed to assist with the management, development, and publication of educational and promotional material on our website, through our electronic newsletter and other publications. Additionally, if you like to write and are interested in sharing reflections or reviews related to our Church’s Social Doctrine or the Works of Mercy, we are also looking for experienced writers.  The commitment is flexible.  Please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

On-Call Volunteers

Parishioners with flexibility in their schedule who would like to be contacted for periodically working on other miscellaneous volunteer projects at the church can ask to be placed on the “On-Call Volunteers” list.  There is no commitment; these volunteers will receive a phone call or email if an opportunity arises and will make a decision at an appropriate time. Please contact the Social Services Volunteer Coordinator.

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