Many of you may already know Pat Sylvester and are aware of her dedication to Amigos de Jesús. For those of you who have not met her, you will soon learn why we celebrate her volunteer service to our organization.
Pat is a straight shooter; she will tell you like it is. While one of her favorite things are cupcakes, there is no sugar coating to her work ethic. She has dedicated 10 years of service to Amigos de Jesús. Pat annually donates over 1,000 hours of her time to overseeing our Padrino (Sponsor a Child) Program, which is the largest fundraising initiative for our organization.
We recently sat down with Pat and asked her a few questions about her volunteer experience with our organization.
Why are you so dedicated to Amigos?
I met Father Dennis over 10 years ago when I volunteered at the Malvern Retreat House with my husband, who was the chef of the Family Life Center at the time. Father would share stories about the children of Amigos and would bring along items to sell to support the children. In no time, I found myself selling the Holy Family statues on behalf of Father to support the children.
My husband, Richard passed away ten years ago and I needed to find a way to keep myself busy to cope with his unexpected death. I asked Father if I could be of any assistance to Amigos and I have been involved ever since. It is Father’s passion and humbleness that brought me to the organization. Everything he does is for the children and his commitment pulls you in to also support the children. In many ways, Amigos has helped me more than I’ve helped them, and it is still that way from my viewpoint.
What is your main role at Amigos?
I started helping any way I could in the office, but over seven years ago, I became the coordinator of the Padrino (Sponsor A Child) Program. The program has grown from sponsoring around 100 children to now over 400 children. I match our children to their Padrino’s (Sponsor) and manage their interactions with each other. I also support a variety of other tasks around the office, most importantly making sure Father has the materials he needs for his parish mission trips and visits to see the children.
What is your fondest memory of your volunteer service with Amigos?
There are a lot, but the first one that comes to mind is when Amigos started their Stepping Stones to the Cross Program. The first stone made was in memory of my husband, Richard.
What advice would you give to a prospective volunteer?
“As long as you have a good heart, this is the place to be.”