Meet The Volunteers-Bella
Meet The Volunteers - MCKENNA
Town / City: Manchester
Placement: Mary & Joseph House
A little about me:
My name is McKenna Smith. I am 22 and I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m currently finishing up a double major of Criminal Justice and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I’m a practicing Catholic and was the Vice President of UNCC’s Catholic Campus Ministry. I’ve also been a small group leader and a part of the Disciples in Ministry; it’s a group of college students who work to spread Gods love to others. I love photography and singing and making people laugh. I think that laughter and kindness are things that everyone should practice.
Why I chose the Vincentian Volunteers:
I chose to take a gap year and join Vincentian Volunteers because I wanted to give back. I found hope and faith where I didn’t think I’d find any and I wanted to share that with others. I had always talked about doing a service year, but I never had the time until I saw the listing about VVs on the Catholic Volunteer Network. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and felt called to apply. When I got accepted into the program it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Arriving in Manchester I quickly realized that this is where I belong.
My placement for the year is with the Mary and Joseph House in Manchester. I serve men who have a history of addiction and/or mental health problems. I absolutely love it. I grew up around addicts (they’re in recovery now) and I wanted to help them, but I never knew how or what to do and this feels like I’m giving back. My job consists of being in their band, serving and drinking tea, taking the men to the park and other nearby places, and engaging them in conversation.
I’ve only lived here for a month, but I love my roommates and Manchester. It’s a fun city to explore. I enjoy going to Mass on Saturday mornings and hanging out with my friends and cooking dinner. I love that I get to pray and share my faith with others. I’m very excited to see what the next year will bring.