On May 9, Sojourner House will honor University of Rochester students as its Volunteer Group of the Year.
Sojourner House, located in the 19th ward, provides a nurturing environment for women and children attempting to make the transition to more independent lifestyles. Residents of Sojourner House include women who are recovering from substance abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, divorce, and health problems. Sojourner House provides counseling services and encourages a sense of community among its residents, both past and present.
The University volunteers honored are from Alpha Phi Omega, Delta Gamma, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Nu, WINK (Women in the Know), Lovejoy and Tiernan Halls, Community Service Network and the Graduate Student Society. Throughout the year, University students participated in numerous activities including childcare, mentoring, and moving furniture. Several students from Alpha Phi Omega were involved in the "Kids 2 College Program" which helps expose children from Sojourner House to the collegiate environment. One of the volunteers, Julie Kim, a graduate student in psychology, started a program called "Study Buddies," which tutored children and trained their parents to facilitate homework sessions.
"The students did so much and there were so many of them that we couldn't pick just one group. I think that these students are much more aware and active than students 15 or 20 years ago," said Gretchen Gilbert, volunteer coordinator at Sojourner House. Gilbert credits the Community Service Network with putting her in touch with so many students.
For information on volunteering at Sojourner House, contact Gilbert at (585) 436-7100.