“To volunteer is to be generous, responsible, selfless, tolerant, imaginative, to show solidarity”
Volunteering is a form of solidarity that is offered thanks to the participation of people who, from a position of selflessness and a sense of responsibility, dedicate part of their time to activities that are aimed at helping others or that favour collective social interests, in the form of projects designed to eradicate or mitigate the causes of need and social marginalisation.
Volunteers have been an important part of the Sisters Hospitallers Congregation since its very beginnings. Its most significant example is St. Benedict Menni, its founder, who worked as a volunteer in Milan (Italy), caring for wounded soldiers arriving from the war in Magenta (1859), as well as with the Red Cross in Spain during the Carlist wars (1873-1876).
Hospitaller volunteers are characterised by the freely-given and solidarity-based style of hospitality that they offer to the needy and vulnerable, particularly the mentally ill, mentally handicapped and the sick, and with a special emphasis on the poor and forgotten.
According to the Institution’s Framework Identity, volunteers form part of the Hospitaller Community and have well-defined functions and ways of participating. They are fully integrated into the Care Model, promoting medical care that is based on the principles of altruism and solidarity, and contributing to the humanisation of care and society’s involvement.
“In an essential way, Hospitality values unites, promotes, and accompanies volunteerism, which is a particularly significant and eloquent demonstration of solidarity with the Hospitaller project.
Volunteers are members of the Hospitaller community, who donate their time to enrich Hospitaller service with their own gifts.
In practice, their actions express and convey the value of sensitivity toward the marginalised, creating a relationship-based environment that contributes to the humanity of healthcare and humanises those who perform this service.”