Community Outreach of Villanova (COV)

COV Images

What is COV?  

Community Outreach of Villanova (COV) is a weekly volunteer service program which partners with community-based organizations in the Philadelphia area working around a variety of issues to create lasting social change. Through COV, participants are able to deepen their commitment to service, learn about the social justice issues which necessitate service in the first place, and reflect on who they feel called be to in light of this experience.

How Can YOU Get Involved?

Apply to be a COV Fellow and commit to serve at a particular site weekly OR volunteer when you're able at sites that don't require a weekly commitment!  Our hope is to provide as many weekly, committed volunteers as possible to our partner sites so that we can build relationships and support the site and those we serve as best as we can!

Applications for Spring 2019 open on Monday, 11/19 and close Friday, 11/30!

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Please contact Meghan Dietzler with any questions.  [610] 519–5178 meghan.dietzler@villanova.edu | St. Rita Hall, Room B-04.

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St. Francis Inn Soup Kitchen

Website: http://stfrancisinn.org
Mondays 3 – 7PM St. Francis Inn Soup Kitchen is a welcoming community grounded in care and respect for every person’s human dignity. SFI offers volunteers an opportunity to interact with guests in a restaurant-style setting. Volunteers may be asked to participate by serving guests, busing tables, cleaning dishes, or organizing the pantry. SFI is located in the neighborhood of Kensington in Philadelphia.

 

Northern Children's Services*

Website: http://www.northernchildren.org/
Mondays 5:45 – 8PM, NCS believes that every child has the potential to transform him or herself—no matter their background or life situations. Volunteers spend an hour of one on one time with students; tutoring them in basic math, science, and reading and we often end the day with free time/play. NCS is located in the neighborhood of Roxborough


Centro San Jose (English as a Second Language Tutor)

Mondays & Wednesdays 6:30–9:30PM Centro San Jose is a ministry of St. Laurence Parish in Upper Darby that offers English as a Second Language classes to adults in the area.  Most of the students are from Latin America, but the program is open to anyone. Volunteers assist teachers and work one on one or in small groups with students.  The ability to speak Spanish is not required. Flexibility and creativity are helpful.

UCHC Soup Kitchen

Website: http://uchc.phillycharities.org/ 
Wednesdays 4:45- 7:30PM, Formally known as St. Agatha's soup kitchen, this soup kitchen is run through the University City Hospitality Coalition.  Volunteers are responsible for serving the food, clean-up, and visiting with guests. To serve, volunteers can carry trays, serve food or pour juice.  The soup kitchen is housed in Episcopal Cathedral, located in University City.

 

St. Barnabas Women’s Shelter*

Website: http://www.ecsphilly.org/our-impact/#barnabas
Thursdays 6–8:30P
M  ECS St. Barnabas Mission is an emergency shelter for women and children, providing stability through supportive services.  Volunteers serve as role models and friends for children during the weekly SPARK exercise program (Safe Physical Activity and Recreation for Kids), run through Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  St. Barnabas is located in the Carroll Park section of West Philadelphia.

 

SciTime at St. I's / OMS*

Fridays 8:30 AM–11 AM  SciTime is a new science learning program designed to engage elementary age students with science.  Volunteers work directly with students as they complete experiments, helping students to learn about and explore different science topics. SciTime takes place at one of our RUIBAL Sites: Our Mother of Sorrows / St. Ignatius School.

 

Hub of Hope: Project Home

Website: https://projecthome.org/hubofhope

Fridays 9:15 AM–1:45 PM  Located in Suburban Station, the Hub of Hope offers a safe place where people experiencing homelessness can enjoy a warm cup of coffee, take a shower and wash laundry, seek medical care, or speak to case managers to begin the process of finding a permanent home. Volunteers spend time providing hospitality to participants by serving coffee and assisting with basic services the Hub offers.

 

Holy Family Nursing Home

Website: http://www.littlesistersofthepoorphiladelphia.org

Saturdays 10AM–2PM Run through the Little Sisters of the Poor, HFNH offers the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity.  Volunteers serve through forming relationships with residents, leading activities, serving lunch, and assisting with whatever the sisters might need each week.  

 

Caritas

One hour/week minimum, according to your schedule The Monastery on campus is home to many Augustinians, particularly those who are elderly and infirm. Through Caritas, volunteers visit with the residents and form personal relationships with them. Volunteers commit to spending at least 1 hour each week at the monastery, depending on when volunteers are available and available to serve.  


RUIBack at It*

Hoping to continue your RUIBAL experience?  Did you hear about RUIBAL too late and want to finally see what it’s all about?  Join us at St. I’s, St. Rose, or North Light on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays respectively with fellow upperclassmen to volunteer at their afterschool programs for children ranging from kindergarten to grade 6. Volunteers serve as mentors, playmates, and role models for the students, while providing homework help in addition to assisting with clubs, snacks, and games.  Join us to become a role model...and have a lot of fun!

St. Ignatius / Our Mother of Sorrows* 

Mondays 3-6 PM

St. Rose of Lima* 

Tuesday 3–6PM

North Light Community Center*

Thursdays 3:15–6PM

*These sites are ONLY open to fellow applicants. All other sites are open to fellows and COV weekly-sign ups IF space is available.

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Volunteers (COV Fellows)

Any Villanova student is welcome to join us as a COV Volunteer.  We encourage anyone that is interested in volunteering through COV to commit to a full semester of service at a particular service site so as to offer consistency and reliability to our partner organizations (these semester-long volunteers are named "COV Fellows").   

COV Fellows commit to serving with the same partner organization on a weekly basis for an entire semester, thereby making an important commitment to those they are serving. Through this experience, volunteers build relationships over time, learning more about the individuals, experiences, and social forces that shape the communities in which they serve.  In addition to weekly service, Fellows also commit to attending three COV Reflections throughout the semester in order to better process their experience and to learn more about the social, economic, and political factors which create a need for service in the first place.

If you are unable to commit to a full semester of service but would like to volunteer once (or a few times) throughout the semester, we encourage you to email us at villanovacov@gmail.com.  We cannot guarantee space at any of our sites, but if there is a free seat in the van one week, we would love to have you join us! Email us with your name, phone number, and what service sites you'd be interested in joining for a day if we find there is an available seat!

Leaders

COV Leaders are volunteers who have worked with a particular community partner, and want to guide other volunteers in becoming a part of that community as well. Leader responsibilities include both logistical and formational aspects. Leaders maintain close relationships with the community partners throughout the year, and are the primary contact with the organization on service days. In addition to heading the groups, leaders are also responsible for providing transportation to and from the service experience. However, leaders also take a more formational role as well. Leaders are responsible for providing a brief orientation to the community partner’s history and mission before every service experience, for leading volunteers through the service experience, and for facilitating reflection and helping groups process the experience on the way home from service in the van. Additionally, leaders serve as mentors and resources for their groups during the Social Justice Forum and monthly COV Community Reflections.

COV Core

The Core is comprised of a small group of dedicated participants, fellows, and leaders who work to strategically develop the future direction of the programs and partnerships of COV. The Core seeks to intentionally develop COV in light of its cornerstones of Simple Hospitality, Relational Service, Friendship & Community, and Personal Growth. To this end, the Core consists of three roles that work interdependently: Logistics, Formation, and Advocacy & Education.

 

In a commitment to social justice, COV hosts Social Justice Forums and advocacy opportunities for COV participants to gather as a group and learn about the justice issues and systemic factors which condition the need for service in the first place.

The goal of these activities is to create a justice-based framework through which students can process their service experience in an effort to bridge the gap between charity and solidarity. The forums are designed to raise awareness about issues which are directly tied to the work of our different community partners, and to examine the larger impact these issues have on the experience and social outcomes of the community members who face them.

The COV participants have the opportunity to build close relationships with the people they meet through service over the course of the semester, and the thrust of this social justice education is to emphasize that these personal relationships also demand of the participants larger justice commitments. In this, the hope is to redefine understandings of neighbor, collapse the globe, and shape future activists.

 

In line with its cornerstones, COV sees reflection as a critical component of service. Therefore, COV hosts monthly reflection opportunities facilitated by Campus Ministry Interns, each focusing on a theme relating to our understanding of service. These reflections allow us to create an important space to come together as a community to process our experiences once we’ve had time to sit with them in light of a particular dimension of service. Mother Teresa states, “so you say you love the poor … name them”.

The idea behind this is that service isn’t just about the doing of work, but about encountering people, learning their names and their stories, and dignifying them by sharing their names and stories with others … in so becoming a voice for the voiceless. Service is not just an activity, but is also a critical question of who do I become in light of these stories and what must I do to make these voices heard? And so COV believes that reflection is a critical way to begin this exploration.