Cleaning the Block, An Act of Justice for Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry

The story behind our 2021 cover photo

Each year we publish the most comprehensive guide for faith-based service called RESPONSE. Our 2021 edition features the 2017-2018 Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry on the cover. The photo shows the first week of service for the community living in Baltimore, MD. BSVM volunteers sign up for a year of service in healthcare, education, and social services within the Bon Secours Mercy Health System. So what are they doing picking up trash? Well, each year, volunteers are asked to take up the daily task of cleaning up their block (in Baltimore, and also in their Richmond location). Through this experience, volunteers get to know their neighbors and the people with whom they the serve. BSVM believes that when a space is treated with dignity, it sends the message that the people who live there have dignity. At its heart, cleaning the block is an act of justice. Here, one volunteer shares about what the experience meant to him:

My time at BSVM has already exposed me to the myriad systemic injustices faced by disadvantaged populations in Richmond, such as economic and healthcare inequality. These problems can be overwhelming for a few people to tackle on their own, but I have tried to focus on the small details like showing compassion to those I serve with and picking up trash in my neighborhood to help dismantle these barriers one step at a time. – Josh Gillen, BSVM 2019 -2020

To learn more about opportunities to service with Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry, visit their listing on pg. 20. The RESPONSE 2021 directory is available in two formats: print and digital download. Get your copies today!

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