More than 200 Mount St. Mary’s students, alums, faculty, staff and friends of the College answered President Ann McElaney-Johnson’s “Invitation to Serve” on Saturday, March 29. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Mount has set aside a day to highlight the importance of community service, one of the pillars of the Mount experience.
The President’s Invitation to Serve honors the legacy of the College’s founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It is sponsored annually by MSMC's offices of Community Engagement, Commuter Services, Campus Ministry and Alumnae Relations.
“Wherever our dear neighbor lives, whether it’s locally or globally, we’re called to serve all persons without distinction,” President McElaney-Johnson said before volunteers dispersed to volunteer sites across Los Angeles. “And I always see that in our students, our faculty and staff, and our alums. That understanding of the responsibility that our founders gave us when they created this college.”
This year, the MSMC community volunteered at seven sites:
Amanda Gomez ’14 is a healthcare policy major who is in her final semester at the Mount. She woke up at 4 a.m. to get ready to make breakfast at Midnight Mission, a nonprofit in downtown Los Angeles that serves as a bridge to self-sufficiency for homeless individuals and families.
“Because of my schedule, I haven’t had the chance to participate in this day in previous years,” she says, “but I definitely wanted to do this as a student before I graduate.”
After her experience Saturday, Gomez says she’d like to continue volunteering with the Invitation to Serve event as an alum. “This morning was a big reality check, but it was so rewarding to actually be able to interact with those you’re serving,” she says. “I’m glad I was here.”
For those who missed out this year, save the date for next year’s President’s Invitation to Serve, which will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2015.
Donations are also still being accepted this year to support the Francis Table - a simple way in which the Mount family can help ensure that no members of our own community go hungry. People are invited to leave food when they have more than they need, and to take food when they need it. The Francis Table is set up inside the doors of each chapel on our campuses. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.