Hello Family and Friends and Followers,
As many of you already know, I am dedicating this year of my life to the Lasallian Volunteers Program. The Lasallian Volunteers are built on a foundation of Faith, Service, and Community; three things that have been an extremely important part of my educational experiences over the last 16 years.
Even at St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School, I was taught the significance of community, faith and service. Between celebrating Catholic holidays, prayer, PEAK pals, and helping out at the school, I received an education beyond the usual academics. In junior high, I really began to appreciate the educational opportunities I have had, and to develop a desire to pay it forward to future generations.
Faith, service, and community continued to be important at St. Vincent de Paul High School, where “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve” was an important mantra for the school. In high school, I developed a true appreciation for all of the help I had received over the years. I learned the importance of giving back to the community and growing in my faith.
I chose to attend a Lasallian college after high school. The basic principles of Lasallian schools were not a far cry from those I had learned in elementary and high schools. In fact, they were very much related. I grew a lot in college, especially as my final year began. I started to change the way I asked and talked about my future. For the longest time, I talked about what I thought I wanted to do. At the start of my senior year, I began to ask a different question: “What does God want me to do?” This led to a huge change in mind-set for my future. Instead of creating plans for after graduation, I had a back-up plan, something I could do until I figured out what God needed me to do. I had a few ideas over the course of my senior year of college, but I always came up with some excuse for why it didn’t work out. I realize now that those weren’t the right options for me. They were what I thought I wanted to do, but not what God needed me to do.
Toward the end of June, I finally heard God’s call. It came to me one night after my brother and I sat with Gooma, my grandmother, at her kitchen table for about six straight hours. We talked a lot about how we were feeling, and reflected on my younger years. I remember expressing that I wasn’t really happy with what I was doing (my back-up plan), and that I wished I could figure out what to do with my life. I felt like I was wasting life. When I got home that night, I had my answer from God. After almost a year of praying for a sign, there it was…in my email inbox, of all places.
The Lasallian Volunteers were looking for more people. I started working on my application right away, and though I hit a few snags and snares, all were easy to work out. My brother was especially helpful through all of this, listening to me complain, and helping me run all the errands that needed to be done.
A couple of weeks later, I found out that I’d been accepted to the program, that I was being placed at an all-boys Lasallian High School in Lower Manhattan as a tutor and campus minister, and that I’d be living in community with one of the most influential Christian Brothers for the LV program. A month after I applied I was on a plane out to Chicago for Orientation and half-way to New York City.
Now, a few weeks into my LV experience, I am writing to ask for your help. Our program is a non-profit, and we rely on fundraisers to continue serving children and adults around the United States. At the end of October, we are participating in a race in Minneapolis, MN called the Monster Dash. Now, I absolutely despise running. It is a far from enjoyable experience for me, but I believe in this program and the work that we do through it, so I will be competing in the 5K event. However, in order to do so, I need sponsors.
If each of you donates as little as 5 dollars, the LV program can continue to serve the communities in which we live. Please consider helping out this important program.
There are two ways you can donate:
- To donate online, visit: https://lasallianvolunteers.myetap.org/fundraiser/lvsrunningscared/individual.do?participationRef=3889.0.155462685)
- If you would rather send a check, mail it directly to the Lasallian Volunteers Office inWashingtonD.C.with LV Race 2011 and my name (Stephanie Carlsen) in the memo line. The address is:
3025 Fourth Street, NE
**please make checks payable to Christian Brothers Conference c/o Lasallian Volunteers and “LV Races 2011 Stephanie Carlsen” on the memo line**
Thank you for all of your love and support.
Thank you, and God bless,