Ignatian Volunteer Corps honors two exceptional people

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SAN DIEGO – The Ignatian Volunteer Corps-San Diego Region (IVC), part of a national organization providing community nonprofit organizations with talented and experienced volunteers, recently held its annual celebration and recognition event.

The COVID-delayed event, originally planned as a gala “Evening of Gratitude” gathering in April to celebrate the 25th anniversary of IVC, was held Nov. 22 as a Zoom/YouTube event titled “Occasion of Gratitude.” The focal point of the event was the recognition of the exemplary work of two special people, Joe Gilbreath and Margie Carroll.

During the online celebration, the 2020 Madonna della Strada Award was conferred on Gilbreath, founder and executive director of Rise Up Industries (RUI). RUI’s mission is to minimize street gang involvement in San Diego by providing integrated gang prevention, gang intervention and reentry services for former gang-involved individuals upon their release from incarceration.

Gilbreath became aware of the pressing need for this program through his work with the Kairos Prison Ministry at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. Founded seven years ago, Rise Up Industries was influenced by the work of Jesuit Father Greg Boyle and the ongoing success of his Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries. IVC recognized Gilbreath for his selfless service.

In accepting his award, Gilbreath said, “Our desire, our need for community – [for] oneness – is part of our DNA.” He concluded by saying, “Our hope is to continue to grow our outreach and to become part of the answer to Christ’s prayer that ‘they be one so that world will believe that You sent Me.’”

Also honored at the event was Margie Carroll, former director of IVC San Diego, who was given the Sheila O’Malley Vision and Dedication Award. Carroll served as San Diego regional director of IVC from 2007-2013.

“One of my favorite expressions is, ‘Gratitude is the memory of the heart,’” said Carroll as she opened her remarks. “I’m so full of grateful memories of the dedicated volunteers, spiritual reflectors, regional council members, partner agencies and generous donors who have contributed to the growth of IVC.”

In what she refers to as her “refirement from IVC,” Carroll serves as a volunteer in many organizations, including the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest National Alumni Council; the San Diego Regional Interfaith Collaborative Board; the “A Faith That Does Justice” committee at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish; the Creation Care Team at The Immaculata Parish, where she is a lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and co-founder of the Creation Care Team; and the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where she is a “visiting friend” of detainees.

IVC Service Corps Members contribute to the community by sharing their life skills and wisdom in direct service to the poor. A thoughtful process of reflection enriches and deepens the experience. For more information on the work of IVC in San Diego, visit or contact Margot Howard at (619) 316-8520 or

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