Dear IVC Directors, Service Members, Spiritual Reflectors, Regional Advisory Council Members, Jesuit Partners, Friends & Benefactors:
I write to you today to tell you how IVC is confronting challenges in our world, both new and old, as well as to reiterate our commitment to growing the Corps and continue responding to the needs of our nonprofit partners.
In response to the current public health crisis, we have asked our service partners to draw on the richness of our corps community by assigning projects that can be done from home. We are also ramping up recruitment efforts now to provide future service for our nonprofit partners who most certainly will be adversely impacted by these present challenges.
Here at IVC, we are called to serve. As I contemplate our Gospel call to service and where IVC fits into the current pandemic, I am reminded and consoled by the late great author, spiritual guide, and Jesuit David Fleming SJ's words: "To follow is to serve, to be available is to serve, to believe and to trust is to serve, to accompany is to serve, to forgive and to be compassionate is to serve, and to celebrate the Eucharist is to serve. We also learn that to serve is always to share what we have been given. That is why serving always follows upon loving —because lovers share their gifts." We will continue answering that call by inviting others to service.
In the meantime, during these next few weeks, all of us need to exercise the strongest precautions to reduce transmission. That is our greatest service.
After consultation with all directors across the country and leadership staff, we ask that everyone in our IVC community, including IVC employees, service members, service partners, regional advisory council members, and spiritual reflectors, prioritize the following guidance:
For our Service Corps Members:
For our Service Partners:
- In consultation with your IVC Director and your service site supervisor identify ways to reduce exposure to the virus in your service assignment. At this date, we recommend a safety-first, limited service engagement until March 31. Review this weekly as things progress.
- Those of you serving in agencies that reduce services or close during the next few weeks, discuss with your service site assignments you can conduct remotely from home that may be helpful in their mission to address public needs.
For our Region Directors:
- Please communicate all safety and health directives your organization implements to your IVC Director, especially if it impacts the service commitment of our Corps members (ex: temporarily closing to the public or restricting visitors from vulnerable populations).
- IVC wishes to assist you as you meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. Reach out to our IVC regional Director to discuss alternative service needs our corps members can provide working from home or alternative activities that are safe and additional ways IVC can assist if you meet an increase in service demand in the weeks, months ahead.
- In practice with IVC's business model, and that each IVC service city will experience the virus pandemic differently, we encourage each IVC region director to use his or her best judgment concerning IVC community meetings, events, and gatherings. We strongly recommend suspending monthly meetings until mid-April. All Directors are to keep IVC's Home Office continually informed about what you learn from service members and service partners and any decisions you make concerning the IVC community.
A note to our Benefactors:
- Right now, ordinary life in America is on hold. In appropriate caution, we have canceled or postponed fundraising events around the country for the next two months. Although we hope to reschedule many events until after this public health emergency has passed, this decision presents us with a financial challenge.
- Please consider sending a special gift today to keep our cash flow healthy. Click the purple "Make a Gift to IVC" button below to make a special gift to IVC and keep our organization strong.
Thank you for your continued care and attention to the most vulnerable in our communities. By exercising extreme care these next we can contribute to the best outcome for all.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or concerns.
President / CEO