When I decided to volunteer for a year of service, I hoped that I would…
One of the fundamental aspects of being a Mercy volunteer is participating in community living. When I first looked into MVC, I didn’t find that very appealing. I thought to myself that I wanted to make my own friends and hang out with who I chose. If I was volunteering for a whole year, I didn’t want to be forced into an intentional community with roommates that I didn’t know. Today though, I can say that the four girls I live with are not simply roommates.
At orientation in August, we were encouraged to use the words community members because that’s just what we are – a community. We’re not five girls living together who may hang out and then forget about each other when our lease is up. What we’ve formed is a deep friendship. Through spirituality nights and community meals, we discuss not only our lives but also global issues. I am constantly being educated on various topics and always feel supported and loved.
My community is also lucky because we are five girls who enjoy cooking. During spirituality night, we go over our calendar and decide who will cook on what weekday the next week. Everyone has a unique cooking style and our meals, though simple, are always delicious. We try to make enough so that we can enjoy leftovers at work the next day. For Lent, we have given up eating meat and we are even going to go vegan for a week (something I never would have considered before).
My community has created a bond that I think will last a lifetime. Although in July we will go our separate ways, our thoughts will be with each other and I’m confident we will see each other soon.
Jennifer Park, New York City