The Shrine of St. Thérèse is looking for more volunteers

    Photo courtesy of The Shrine of St. Thérèse

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - This summer come out and enjoy the gardens of the Shrine of St. Thérèse.

    Joe Sehnert is the director of the Shrine of St. Thérèse.

    He came onto Capital Chat to talk about needing volunteers.

    First, Sehnert explained the Shrine's background.

    "The shrine chapel will be eighty-five years old this coming October. So the shrine has been a part of Juneau fabric for a long time. And you know, it's just amazing," he said. "It's just been built up over the years little by little. The gardens were started about 25 years ago. They've become an integral part of our mission, talking to people about God."

    He added that people of all religions are welcome at the Shrine.

    "You just feel the presence of God there. I mean it doesn't matter what faith or what religion. It's just a place where you just know that there's something going on there that's bigger than all of us," he said. "It's a lot of property. It takes a lot of volunteers to help us keep that up."

    There are over 22 gardens, with over 11,000 square feet of gardens that people can help out with.

    "We're looking for volunteers for the garden program. We have four different pieces to our garden program. The first one is Saturday work parties where folks can come once a month, the first Saturday of each month. We work from nine to noon. The shrine supplies everything they need; plants, fertilizer, mulch, whatever, and you just come out," he said. "If you can't make it for the whole time, an hour's great. Whatever time they get on a Saturday. Now that's once a month on a Saturday. We also have our Thursdays with St. Therese, which is every Thursday."

    Their Thursday volunteer program begins May 11.

    He also explained their Adopt a Garden program.

    "We need some new people to adopt a garden. With those 22 gardens, we have gardens from 30 square feet to 1,200 square feet," Sehnert said. "So if you're an individual you can come out and adopt a garden. If you're a family, we got the right-sized garden for you. If you're a member of an organization, we got the garden for you. You don't have to buy anything. All you have to do is be there."

    To conclude, Sehnert gave the fourth way to help out at the Shrine.

    "If you can't get out there, the fourth way is to just help us financially. To pay for the replace plants, to pay for the bulbs, to help buy the mulch," he commented. "Keeping these grounds as magnificent, as beautiful as they are. So we're grateful for any help we can get."

    If interested in volunteering or donating, reach out via their website or call 907-789-9815.

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