Where One Franciscan Sister Feels Called to Be a Volunteer

by Sister Jessica on November 11, 2010

Franciscan Sister Jessica Zwarra, OSF shares about her life as a volunteer at The Health Care Center for the Homeless Dental Clinic, Christian Sharing Center and a food pantry in Central Florida.

The Health Care Center for the Homeless Dental Clinic has been described as the “third world mouths with sugar”. The homeless need for dental treatment is continual. There are an estimated 8,000 homeless men, women, and children in Central Florida who have no other source to receive dental care. The dental clinic also provides care for low income, uninsured people living in the downtown service area.

Franciscan Sister Jessica

Franciscan Sister Jessica uses her dental skill in a Homeless Dental Clinic in Central Florida.

As a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, I serve the poor at the clinic by helping to make the dentures and partials. 3, 025 patients were served at the clinic last year. It is a blessing to make available oral health services to the disadvantaged, homeless and uninsured in Orlando.

The Christian Sharing Center is a faith-based, non-profit charitable organization that helps individuals in Seminole County during times of personal financial crises. It was formed by a group of church leaders who recognized that their staffs did not have the training, time or resources to help effectively. There are about 40 denominations providing financial support and food drives to stock the pantry. As Christians, the goal of the center is to have the Gospel delivered to all people, knowing that “actions speak louder than words”. They strive to be Christ to others to proclaim the Gospel by providing for the physical needs of the poor. Last year, they helped 51,024 people and the number needing help has soared 40% this year. They provide a range of support from food, clothing, shelter, transportation and shelter.

Franciscan Sister Jessica and Food Pantry Volunteers

Here's Franciscan Sister Jessica with other dedicated volunteers at a Florida food pantry.

I volunteer my time in the food pantry. We receive a list of the needed items from the clients and fill shopping carts and bags with the requested food, cleaning products and personal hygiene items. One of the favorites for the children is pizza,which is donated by local pizza parlors. When I take the shopping cart to the waiting room for the family, children will often start eating the old pizza. Thanksgiving and Christmas, we prepare the ingredients for a complete holiday dinner for the families in need. The motto of the Sharing Center is “because we care, we share”. It is a joy to share my time there.

16 thoughts on “Where One Franciscan Sister Feels Called to Be a Volunteer”

  1. Smaryfrances says:

    God bless you and all of the volunteers at the Christian Sharing Center, Sister Jessica! I heard about your article today and I am glad you shared your life with us. You are in my prayers.

  2. srsharon says:

    Sr. Jessica, thank you for sharing your volunteer ministries so well. The Beatitudes come to mind at once AND aren't you also caring for a brother? Glad to see that you are making good use of your Dentist abilities and skills. Imagine there are many dentures to create. How wonderful that at the Christian Sharing Center there are 40 denominations working together and what wealth you can learn and share with each other also. The food pantry comes to mind of an experience of working in Zanesville at one that helped me realize one is not only physically contributing to the feeding of the body but also to their spirits, mind & heart. Thank you for being so willing to help the poor “because you care to SHARE!”

  3. To know of your kindness first hand is to feel God's love! Thanks so much Sister Jessica for all you do with so many other volunteers, in caring for those most in need! It is a blessing to have our Sisters representing all of us as we reach out and share with others. Do count on my continued prayer for you!

  4. Sisterannjoachim says:

    What a beautiful description of serving the poor and needy in Florida! Itis an inspiration for many other people. Your services, Sister Jessica, will be richly rewarded.

  5. Sannjoachim says:

    What a beautiful work of charity and social action for the poor in Florida! May your work,Sister, be richly rewarded.

  6. Sannjoachim says:

    Thank you, Sister Jessica, for such great charity and social action.

  7. Sannjoachum says:

    Thank you.

  8. Sannmary says:

    Thnaks, Sister Jessica. I've often wondered what you did. This is a great discription. God bless you and your work.

  9. Srosangela says:

    Sister Jessica,

    How interesting and inspiring to read about your volunteer work in Florida. You are doing a wonderful service to the poor and witnessing to them and to those who are working with you. My prayers are with you as you continue this service to the poor.

  10. Georgianarank says:

    Sister Jessica,

    What a beautiful discription of your works of charity! Just like you- aalways doing things for others. Keeep up the good Franciscan work.

    Peace and all good things to you. We support you with our prayers.

  11. Jessicazwarra says:

    Thnk you Sr. Georgiana for your message. I can always use those prayers.

  12. Jessicazwarra says:

    God Bless you for your prayers. Blessings on all you do.

  13. Sr. Delores W. says:

    God bless you Sr. Jessica for your generous and kind service. We are blessed because of you.

    love and prayers…

  14. This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me, thanks

  15. Sister Anne Marie Lom says:

    I am so happy this article was prepared and posted. With Sr. Jessica in FL, I feel a part of me is there, also. Thank you for reaching out for all of us.

  16. Sweetsue64 says:

    Sister Jessica you are doing a wonderful job and so many people are blessed by you presence and the sharing of your talents. Thank you for your beautiful example and sharing us, FSCC, in you corner of the world. With love and prayerful support..

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