After being laid off from a factory job that I had for 8 years I returned to school to get a CNA degree. I have always wanted to be a nurse so that I could help people. Since I had spare time, I started to walk in the mornings where I met a PJD walking group. Nina, the walking group leader, told me that Sister Phylis was looking for someone to fill a volunteer position working in the community of Cameron Park, where I live. I jumped at the chance of helping to educate and promote health in my community because I really want to make a difference in people's life. I had been praying that God would give me the strength and wisdom to help lots of people. God answered my prayers with the opportunity to work at PJD. It has been an amazing experience so far. I do a variety of things daily. I help people fill out the US citizenship application. And I also teach them the questions they might be asked during their interview to gain citizenship. I help those who have a low-income recieve their medicine at no cost. This is very rewarding for me. Along with citizenship and the pharmacy assistance program, I assist Sister Sharon with the youth group and the gardening program for children. I have already learned a lot and am really happy that God has opened this door for me and blessed me in this way. I am proud to be here at Proyecto Juan Diego.
Front Desk Volunteer - Patricia Garcia
My name is Patricia Garcia and I have been a volunteer at PJD since January of 2008 when Sr. Phylis invited me to help out here. A year and a half ago I signed up to take a Stress Management Course (Capacitar). This course helped me to learn how to deal with the stress in my life and after finishing the class I felt more at peace. I wanted to continue to learn more about managing stress so I took the classes to become a Capacitar teacher. Then Carolina, the Coordinator of the Capactiar program, invited me along with some other women, to begin our own stress management courses. I taught the same course to others that I was first taught and had come full circle. When Sr. Phyis asked me if I would be willing to help at PJD I was happy to accept the invitation. I volunteer each morning at the front desk answering the telephone, welcoming anyone who comes, and helping the staff with whatever they need.
The time that I have given in service has served me as well. Now each day I am able to give a little of myself to others and this is very gratifying. I am a person that only wants to be a little closer to God- and I am happy that I do feel closer to Him.
I am grateful that Sr. Phylis and my friend, Carolina, believe in me and have given me this opportunity.