Guided by faith. Called to love.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pseudo-Volunteering is for people who love the spiritual satisfaction that comes from volunteering but hate the tedium of volunteering.
How does it work?
Each Saturday a group of pseudo-volunteers from St. Bartholomew visits the Little Sisters of the Needy Scholastic Workshop. We tutor photogenic, disadvantaged youths from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Oh, man. That’s way too early for me. Do you do anything on weeknights?
Awesome! Where is the workshop?
The Scholastic Workshop is at 2808 W. Division on Chicago’s West Side, which is just green space within Humboldt Park and does not technically exist as a physical address.
So... I don’t actually have to tutor anyone, do I?
Thank God. What are the details?
Each pseudo-volunteer is assigned a shy, friendly, and non-threatening black preteen named Michael. He needs help with his math homework. It will be difficult at first as you struggle to make a connection, but soon he will open up. By the end Michael will be laughing at your jokes while solving tricky long-division problems. Later that night you will feel that you have made a difference in Chicago’s Black Community, which you otherwise only see from the interstate.
Man, I am terrible at math. Can we teach Mark something else?
His name is Michael and he does not exist. You will not actually go anywhere or teach anyone anything.
I took formal logic in college to avoid math so--
FINE. Teach him art. Read some poetry. Whatever! He does not exist.
Did you say what time it starts? Totally forgot.
Yikes, that’s early.
Hi, unlike the previous questioner, I am already black and do not suffer from White Guilt. Can I be assigned an Hispanic Michael?
Yes. We have plenty of make-believe Miguels.
When is it again?
Each Saturday from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 PM.
Shoot, Saturdays are wall-to-wall college basketball for me.
It's summertime so that should--
Even still, you sure you don’t do anything on Tuesdays?
We do tons of actual things on Tuesdays—on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, etc—but trust us, Tuesdays and Everydays will be bad for you. You will have to work late. You will get lost or confuse the dates. A friend will be in town. Something will happen and you will not show. Don’t bother annoying people at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter or the Chicago Jesuit Academy or the Franciscan Outreach Center. Each of these places exists and each needs actual, serious volunteers. Just pretend to show up at St. Bart’s parking lot at 8:40 A.M. this Saturday to join us for this pseudo-event and we will carpool over as a group.
But you said it was at 9:00.
Oh my God. It takes 15 minutes to get to Humboldt Park, it is not polite to show up late, and carpooling with fellow parishioners builds community, right? Just play along. Committing to this project requires NO effort from you.
Look, I suck at tutoring. The one time I did it the kid just doodled for an hour until—get this—he bit one of the social workers. We’re talking ambulance, police—the works. Can I drop off some canned-goods instead?
No. The Talk-About-Donating-Food-Without-Donating-Food Drive is not until Advent.