Organized in collaboration with the Board of Directors’ Community Committee, the annual Good Shepherd Volunteers’ Meet & Greet was held Saturday, September 23rd. Hosted by Veronica and Bruce Bennett and attended by alumni, board members, and Sisters of the Good Shepherd alike, the evening welcomed in the ‘23-’24 cohort of Good Shepherd Volunteers: Brianna, Diamond, JaNia and Zach.
Brianna Chandler is a St. Louisan bringing her passion for working with youth to IS347 - School of Humanities in New York City. Brianna makes the move to her service year following the completion of a double degree from Washington University in St. Louis in American Culture Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Pack some mac and cheese and Zebra Cakes and head out to catch sunset on the beach - and throw on Janelle Monae to set the vibe!
Diamond Lannaman is a Brooklyn native and CUNY - Staten Island alum. This lover of jokes and badminton is bringing her degree in Psychology and Social Justice to her work this year as the Anti-Racism and Equity Fellow at Good Shepherd Services in NYC. Catch her listening to Reggae and Neo-Soul, and ask her about her plan to go to National Tulip Day over tea and a blueberry muffin.
JaNia Anderson Vil is a lover of travel and Oreos, coming to us from SUNY-Old Westbury where she earned her degree in General Studies as an active member of many campus communities. Always looking for ways to give back, this Harlem native is joining us to serve Bronx LifeLink at Good Shepherd Services. Join JaNia for some time in the park and make plans to enjoy the upcoming Summer Olympics together!
Zach Lyons is a Swiftie who brings his love of travel and pop culture to the Good Shepherd family in New York City. A Psychology degree graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University and lifelong resident of SoCal, Zach will be serving in the position of Public Policy Fellow at GSS. His passion for service and advocacy has led him to trade in his beloved In-N-Out for Shake Shack this year, and we're so glad he did! Join Zach on the hunt for the best burrito in the city this year!
Evening activities included GSV-specific icebreaker questions, induction into the world of sheep-related swag, and a prayer to start off the cohort’s new year. The volunteers went home with brie, keychains, and plenty of new connections to the greater Good Shepherd Volunteers network.
For those who weren’t able to attend, here’s a copy of the Volunteer Blessing if you’d like to send your wishes from home:
Blessing from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
by John O'Donohue
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing,
light and renewal to those who work with you
and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment,
inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert,
approaching your new day with dreams,
possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered,
May your soul calm, console and renew you