To the editor:
My name is Megan Donovan, and I am a proud alumna of St. Joan of Arc School in Marlton, Holy Cross High School, and most recently, Loyola University Maryland. Over the years, I have been a member of several choirs, especially during my time at Holy Cross and Loyola. In choir, I learned many songs about faith in action, such as “Give us faith that works to build the kingdom; Give us love that understands the work of loving hands can be a window to the heart of God”, and “How can we be silent when we’re called to heal and serve in the image of Lord Jesus, who has stooped to wash our feet?”
These themes resonated with me as I journeyed through college and began to discern what I wanted to do after I graduated from Loyola. As a first-year at Loyola, I learned about the Jesuit Volunteer Corps from a friend’s sister who was serving a year in Bethel, Alaska, and loving her year. I learned that Jesuit Volunteers lived a life according to four values: Service, Spirituality, Community, and Simple Living.
The next time I began to think about the Jesuit Volunteer Corps was during my sophomore year at Loyola, when I attended my first Spring Break Outreach trip and I traveled to Ivanhoe, Virginia for a week. At the beginning of the week, I was very nervous, because I did not know anything about rural poverty, the Appalachian mountain region, the south, or the type of people I would be meeting. However, over the course of the week we met many people who were different than us in some ways, but the same in many more ways. The forty college students and the residents of Ivanhoe bonded over laughing at the hilarious man, Wayne, we met in the fire station, and having a dance party and eating dinner with the whole community. During this week, I was very nervous and stretched past my comfort zone, but I formed so many relationships and created some of my favorite memories at Loyola. Each day, my group would work during the day and reflect at night, and I thought that this type of lifestyle I would like to pursue.
Over the next year, I hope to use this experiences, and all of my experiences that have made me who I am today for my next great adventure. I will be joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and I will be working full-time as the Food Network Coordinator at the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Houston, Texas. This year will present me with many challenges as well as many opportunities to grow. This will be my first full-time job placement, my first time living in community with five other young women, and my first time living in the south. I am so excited about all of the challenges that await me over the next year!
The work of the 340 Jesuit Volunteers all over the country will save non-profit agencies such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society $6 million per year. I am so passionate about this cause because it means that each dollar goes right to serving the poor and in need. To support the work of the non-profit agencies, each Jesuit Volunteer is asked to fundraise in their home communities. If anyone is able to make a donation to this wonderful cause, they can log on to www.jesuitvolunteers.org/sendmetoserve, and search for “Megan Donovan”, or mail a check made out to Jesuit Volunteer Corps to 101 Flintlock Lane, Marlton, NJ 08053. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers and I embrace this next year.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support.