Part of the Franciscan Life Process Center’s volunteer program, the Franciscan Friends meet once a week to work on specialized projects and discuss future endeavors. An integral part of the Franciscan family, these volunteers donate their time and skills in a wide variety of areas from programming needs to out-reach projects.
They help maintain the Center’s gardens, give trail and farm tours, welcome guests to the Center, assist in the greenhouse, and help bake bread and other items. These volunteers are invaluable at harvest time when the Sisters need extra hands both in bringing in the crops and canning the produce afterwards.
Many of its members are skilled in sewing and needle crafts. Over the years, items created by these talented volunteers have been sent around the world on behalf of the Center.
Grand Rapids and area:
- Chemo caps for St. Mary’s Hospital cancer patients
- Shawls for Lack’s Oncology Center patients
- Incubator covers for the Neo-Natal Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital
- Afghans and teddy bears for Victory Junction Camp (for terminally ill children operated by NASCAR)
- Scrapbook packets for children at St. John’s Home
- Throws for area nursing home patients
- Bags for a tour group on a Franciscan pilgrimage to Germany
Franciscan Center projects:
- Instrument tote bags for the Music Therapy Department
- Twin bed quilts for the guest rooms
- Fabric blinds for the multi-media room
- Stuffed animals, puppets and a 15-foot long, wearable Chinese dragon for the preschool
Miscellaneous projects include:
- Quilts for women and children in north Africa
- 250 scarves for participants in the March for Life from Connecticut and Michigan.
In addition, members of the group worked with the Parkinson’s Association of West Michigan for over ten years. They also organized and hosted four regional quilt workshops which included classes, a spiritual retreat and an exhibition.
For information about this program or if you would like to join the Franciscan Friends, please call 616-897-7842 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Friends Helping Friends
The Franciscan Friends Helping Friends is a new program run by the Franciscan Friends. These volunteers are available for those needing advice with their sewing, needlework or other creative projects. These include crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, needlework, quilting, scrap-booking and other projects.
Those interested may bring their work to the Center Friday mornings between 9:30 a.m. and noon. If an appointment is more convenient, call the Center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and leave your name, phone number and/or email address (and optional mailing address) and include the type of craft problem. A Franciscan Friends will schedule a time for you to come in with your craft.
Although this is not a teaching class per se, those needing assistance will be able to attend one or more help sessions with a mentor if needed. The service is free of charge. However, a donation to the Center is appreciated. For more information, please call the Franciscan Life Process Center at 616-897-7842 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.