Each month, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas averages 1,200 volunteers who selflessly donate their time and talent to help our neighbors in need.
Mary Gillespie is one of those volunteers. Mary began her service in 2013 as an English tutor with our New Roots for Refugees program. This programs works with refugee farmers to develop farming businesses, selling fresh fruits and vegetables within our community. Mary was paired with a family who spoke almost no English. At her first tutoring session, Mary came prepared with a notebook featuring pictures of her own family and life as a way to introduce herself. Over the past few years, she has made significant progress with the family, Volunteer, Mary Gillespie who are now able to have basic interactions with customers at farmer’s markets as well as count back change. Mary also teaches weekly English classes to adults. Her students and fellow volunteers celebrate her as an amazing teacher who brings enthusiasm and positivity to the classroom. We are blessed to have Mary as a volunteer at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas!