There are no shortage of volunteer opportunities in the Arlington diocese. However, with more than 1,500 volunteers and only 106 staff members, your gift of time is priceless. Jackie Lorzing is making a difference by sharing her passion for service with her sons, despite having advanced lung cancer. Here’s a conversation we had with her about the time she gives so freely and with so much love.

Volunteer Gives Time Despite Cancer Diagnosis

How did you first get involved with the St. Lucy Project?

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t go back to my job as an operating room nurse. I read about the St. Lucy Project in our bulletin at St. Katherine Drexel and wanted to try it. First I went by myself, and then I brought my sons with me, and then students from the confirmation class I was teaching.

Explain the variety of ways you serve at the St. Lucy Project.

Some days I organize food on the shelves or I organize spreadsheets in the computer. Or we’ll unload donations after a parish food drive – now I’m helping my parish prepare for a food drive. Last summer, my 13-year-old and I drove to Food Lion every Monday and took those donations to food pantries at Holy Family parish and Our Lady of Angels parish.

Why is it important to instill service into your sons?

To form the whole person, you have to teach them that volunteering is important. They’re not going to figure it out on their own. It’s good for them to see that not everyone has a life like we have, and not everyone has enough food to eat.

And your confirmation class?

We were talking about the works of mercy and this was a tangible way our kids could put those into action.

I think that’s the whole mission of the St. Lucy Project – finding Christ in other people and being Christ to each other.

And what about you? Your time is precious, but you still make time to serve.

Before the cancer, I was running in a hundred different directions, but now I have been given this beautiful gift of time. I had to stop doing everything I thought was important just to see what was going on around me. You have to carve out time to give back. I feel like I’m still able to do a lot of things, and to be of service to someone is the most rewarding thing I can do.

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Get Involved!

We need you to join Catholic Charities in making a difference in the lives of the poor!

There are a variety of ways to give back – with the St. Lucy Project and with all of our programs. Your gifts of time, talent and treasure are priceless.

To volunteer with Catholic Charities, please contact Sally O’Dwyer at (703) 841-3838 or

To make a financial donation, please visit or contact James Michels, Vice President for Development, at (703) 841-3841 or