Skip to content

From College to Community: How Spirituality Led Me to Volunteerism

Hello all, thank you for tuning in and taking some time to read about my MVC experience! I want to share with you how I came to join the Mercy Volunteer Corps and offer insight into how my spirituality played a big role in that. If you’re discerning a year of service I hope that you’re able to take something away from this post. If you’re here to keep up with the goings on of the current volunteers with the Mercy Volunteer Corps, thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy! 

I studied Business and Spanish at Saint Michael’s College (SMC) in Colchester, VT. While there I was able to further explore my spirituality and what it meant in my life. The Society of Saint Edmund, is the founding order of the college. Through them I was able to see how their spiritual practices lead them in purpose-filled lives. The Edmundites put ‘faith in action’ dedicating their lives to social justice in many forms. From working with food banks, mentorship programs, and migrant organizations in our own backyard of VT to building houses in Immokalee, Florida showcase a few of their efforts. I spent 7 years at SMC, 4 as a student and 3 as an admission counselor. Throughout my time at SMC I developed my own brand of spirituality with a foundation in what I brought with me combined with inspiration I took from the Edmundites.  

Many students go on to do service in many different ways, but I was introduced to programs like Mercy Volunteer Corps by one of my Spanish professors. After much research it led me to connect with the director of the Mobilization Of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) program who is an alumna of Mercy Volunteer Corps. In my conversations with her and my research into the Sisters of Mercy, I knew that that is where I needed to be. 

My spirituality became more of an action to be done than something to be contemplated, which lines up very well with the Sisters of Mercy. St. Mike’s is a purpose-driven institution and many of my classes connected to those values of connection and care for all people. Through my work with a local organization called Migrant Justice (a migrant founded and run organization that advocates for rights for migrant workers in Vermont), I was able to see into the struggles and injustices that people were facing in my state that I had no idea were happening. Solidarity is a key component of both Migrant Justice and Edmundite spirituality. I have been incredibly grateful that my Spanish education has allowed me to connect and walk with so many people.  

As I mentioned I worked at St. Mike’s for 3 years. I used this time to save money and plan my next steps. I knew that there was something more I needed to do. I continued to research extended service opportunities. I can’t quite describe the feeling, but it’s almost like there’s a ball inside my chest that an invisible string is tugging on. I knew I wanted to have a direct impact on improving the lives of others, and I wanted to use the skills that I have learned over the last 7 years. After much research I found The Good Samaritan Clinic in Savannah, GA through Mercy Volunteer Corps. The work being done at the clinic really spoke to me and I thought my skills were a good fit as well. Good Samaritan provides free primary care and serves a majority Spanish speaking population. In my position I am able to help patients complete applications, and in some cases offer interpretation, as well as ease the workload of my colleagues. I have been able to feel the impact of this work I’ve had the opportunity to do. Every day there is something new to learn, and important work to do.  

I am still on a spiritual journey, discovering what that means to me. What I do know is that surrounding myself with others who are shaping their lives with the center of “being the change they want to see in the world.” From my beginnings as a student at Saint Michael’s, to an employee, to now being a volunteer with Mercy Volunteer Corps, I continue to allow that feeling in my chest to lead me every day. It isn’t easy, and I still become overwhelmed with negative headlines in the news, but I am also able to realize that I can’t change everything, and that I do have the power to impact the people around me. We all want big changes to happen by tomorrow to fix everything, but behind every overnight success story, there is 10 years of work. For me that work is the beginning of change I may not see in the future, but change is slow, and you have to have the support and reserves in your well to continue to choose to make a difference.

I am humbled by the opportunity that I am able to give a year of myself and my talents to others, and I hope that you choose to give to others in any capacity you can.

Sully Miele: Savannah, Georgia

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top