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What If You Could Break The Norm

What if you could break the norm?

I mean really, truly break it: stop job searching, stop your 9-5 lifestyle, stop stressing about student loan payments, just stop. If you really could stop everything what would you do for the next week? the next month? how about the next year?

You have an opportunity right now to take a year of your life to just live – to serve. One year to live an unconventional lifestyle, to find your passion and seize it in every opportunity, and to help others and discover yourself in the process. A year of service might be something that has crossed your mind a thousand times, or it might be something that you just simply never thought about. Regardless of how many times you have or have not thought about it, I promise, it’s worth considering.

If you really are considering this I am sure your mind has generated a few questions already:

-I just received my degree. Can I volunteer as (insert profession here)?
-Will they pay for my flight? my housing? my food and personal expenses?
-What about my student loans… will they offer reimbursement awards?
-I want to volunteer internationally but can’t commit to 2 years. Is there a 1 year option?

Now for every volunteer program there are different answers to these questions. To be honest you will be hard-pressed to find a volunteer program that answers ‘yes’ to all of them, but I happen to work for one: Mercy Volunteer Corps (MVC).

Mercy Volunteer Corps takes an extremely unique approach to the entire long-term volunteer process. For us, it is about the ‘yes.’ Volunteering for a year should mean using your skill and your degree. It should mean you’re focused on building community and not finances. It should mean taking a year to really find your passion so that you can become a life-long advocate for people who are poor and marginalized. Here at MVC, it’s personal. We want to get to know you, what your inspiring dreams are, and how you plan on changing the world. From guiding you through the application process to helping with your job-search and transition after your volunteer year, we are committed to you and your journey.

If you are still reading then I am willing to bet I have caught your interest in the possibility of volunteering for a year. So, let me give you 10 reasons why you should choose Mercy Volunteer Corps as your volunteer program:

1. Use your skills and degree: Going into a neighborhood and offering to administer Flu vaccinations when you have a degree in Speech Pathology isn’t useful to you or the people who need to receive the immunization. We work with our applicants to place them in their professional field. Some of the professional placements we offer include: Nursing (RN), Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Special Education, Primary and Secondary Education, Social Work, Counseling, Coaching… this list goes on and on.

2. Personalized Placement: Maybe your not sure what your professional skills are or which population would must benefit from you service, that’s ok! Our team will help answer all of these questions and work to find the best placement for you.

3. One Year (national and international): Whether you want to volunteer nationally or internationally we ask for a one year commitment. We know most international programs require two years but we only want you to commit to what you are comfortable with. At the end of your one year, you can always choose to stay for a second!

4. Community: While most volunteer programs offer support and engagement with the community you will serve, not all programs offer the opportunity to live in community with other volunteers. Living with other volunteers is extremely important because they are your support system. Your community members will offer support and understanding as they go through their volunteer journey along side you.

5. Life-long Support: Support after your volunteer year is critical to keeping your experience fresh and motivating. Our alumni network offers opportunities to continue to engage in an alternative lifestyle once you have settled again. From happy hours to social justice presentations, our alumni stay involved with MVC and with each other.

6. Financial Support: Mercy Volunteer Corps provides housing and transportation during your year of service. Our housing varies between houses and apartments and while some communities rely on public transportation others have cars. We will also cover your transportation (plain, train, or automobile) to your service site from Orientation in August and from your service site to home once your year is complete. MVC provides each of our volunteers with two modest monthly stipends: one for food and one for personal expenses. Most of our positions are also eligible for the AmeriCorps Education Award which provides volunteers with a scholarship to be used towards student loans or future education. The benefits of MVC continue but you can check out the rest here:

7. Service Site Variety: Mercy Volunteer Corps has a service site that fits everyone’s interest. Whether you want to live in a big city or on a slower paced Native American Reservation we have a city for you. In addition, MVC serves a wide variety of populations from refugees to those with developmental disabilities. Let us know if you have a specific population you are interested in working with!

8. Rolling Application Placement: After our priority deadline in January, we place our applicants on a rolling basis. Once your application is received and accepted, we will work with you to find you a service site. This means that you do not need to wait until May to find out where you will be serving.

9. Future Success: Committing to a year of service is a highlight on any resume, not only because of your commitment to community but also because of the professional experience you gain. Employers are more often coming to realize how valuable a year of service is professionally, especially for those applying to entry level positions. Your year of service will give you the foundation you need to jump into your profession.

10. Opportunity: Mercy Volunteer Corps will offer you countless opportunities to grow as a person, a community mate, and a global citizen during your year of service and afterwards. This commitment is about gaining opportunities not available to everyone, and these opportunities are key to living a life a success, passion, and compassionate service.

Breaking the norm just got a little bit easier. Now all you have to do is say ‘yes.’

Fill out our online application request form today by telling us a little bit about yourself. One of our staff members will then contact you to help you through the application process!

Still not quite convinced a year of service is for you? Head over to our website to find out more about our mission and the cities we serve ( As always, feel free to email us any questions at and a staff member will respond as soon as possible!

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