Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry is a year-long, faith-based service program similar to the Peace Corps; BSVM is different in that it is a 1-year domestic commitment versus a 2-year international commitment (the program runs from August 2021-July 2022). Additionally, volunteers live in intentional community with fellow recent college graduates. They receive a lot of support from BSVM staff. Another distinction between BSVM and the Peace Corps is that we are much smaller, with 10-12 volunteers each year. We are also a faith-based program. Volunteers commit to: grow spiritually, live simply, learn through service with others, develop community, and practice God’s justice.
In addition to living in intentional community, our volunteers serve full time in various roles within the Bon Secours Mercy Health System in Baltimore, MD or Richmond, VA. They live within walking distance of their placement sites. At their sites, they can serve, for example, as patient liaisons in Behavioral Health, in the Emergency Department, or on the Inpatient Unit. A few more examples include roles addressing the social determinants of health at a mobile health clinic or conducting health screenings with Seniors and teaching nutrition classes alongside a nurse in a public health role. Finally, applicants interested in education or social service placements may, for instance, serve at a Women’s Resource Center, Sister’s Academy, or Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.
Our placements are distinctive in that our volunteers spend 80% of their time working directly with patients or clients. Administrative tasks are kept to a minimum and the focus instead is on relationship building and being present to patients. No formal training is required to join.
Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry provides housing, health insurance, transportation, a monthly stipend, and assistance with loan deferment. It is an incredible opportunity for those who have a desire to continue their commitment to service, faith, and justice in a supportive environment.