Serving the Lord with Kindness
    How we serve the Lord is a personal choice. Joe and Helen Penczak, parishioners of St. Joseph the Carpenter in Roselle, New Jersey, have volunteered at RENEW longer than most of the staff have been at their jobs. For 20 years, everyone in the RENEW community has benefited by one of the countless projects this vibrant couple has worked on.

    Volunteering came naturally for Helen when she joined several women volunteering at RENEW back in 1991. A mother of six children (now ranging in age from 42 to 55 years) and a housewife, Helen reached out to serve others to "fill in" her already full day. Assembling materials that would touch the lives of thousands around the world was truly gratifying.

    Helen’s husband, Joe, joined his wife at RENEW shortly after his retirement as a lineman in 1993. Joe, a true gentleman, initially wanted to “help the ladies.” He always has a joke or thought-provoking riddle to share, and his energy and laugh are contagious. Joe is very meticulous when organizing and accounting for RENEW's inventory, yet he humbly states that it is his wife who volunteers, and he is "just the driver.”

    In their early years, RENEW did not have ample tables for volunteers to work on. Many tasks, such as assembling, sorting, folding, stamping, and mailings were completed on their laps sitting in a basement room that lacked adequate heat. RENEW has come a long way since then and Joe and Helen continue to volunteer despite numerous health challenges. Joe and Helen are like family to the RENEW staff we thank God they continue to minister to the entire RENEW community, not only with their generous service, but with their humor and spirit, too.
Helen and Joe Penczak at a RENEW
Volunteer Day Celebration