Light of Hope Fund/Helping Our Neighbors


05/25/2022 NVW: Lauren Peterson

Beginning her Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps project in the middle of the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Healthy Campaign was challenging for Lauren Peterson. The pandemic completely changed her service role.

I had hoped to be able to build deep relationships with the clients,” Lauren said. Instead, she had to wait until May 2021 for her first in-person client meeting.

Lauren had plenty of ways to serve during her project. One significant contribution was completing survey data analysis from surveys taken from households in Catholic Housing Services developments in January 2020.

She also was able to help compile learning kits for families that were both STEM and art-based. These kits were delivered to each household in a no-contact way. Lauren was happy to be able to support many families, but she missed the relationships.

During her project, Lauren learned many valuable lessons and experienced personal growth. “I began to think beyond the individual and realized the value of shared struggles,” she said. “I began to see myself as part of a community where I can rely on other peoples’ resources to accomplish a task.”

This has been very evident as Lauren, who is not a gardener, helped to organize the re-opening of the Wapato Community Garden. She realized that the residents of Blessed Kateri Village have the skills to garden, and she could get the word out about the re-opening.

Thinking of her personal growth and the impact she was able to make, Lauren said, “I am glad I made the decision to be a Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps member. I would do it again!

Catholic Charities supports our region’s farmworkers and families who help sustain our agricultural industry. We offer affordable, quality, multi-family rental housing serving low-income individuals and families throughout Central Washington.

Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps Members serving at the housing sites are responsible for the onsite care coordination-referral to local resources, one on one direct service, networking, developing and maintaining partnerships, case management, trust and rapport building, community building, coordinating and facilitating direct services to residents’ families and individuals living at CCHS housing placement sites.

For information on becoming a Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps Member, go to: