Altamaha Bank employees, Valerie Noles and Michelle McCoy, have been volunteering as allies for Mercy University's Faith & Finance class on Mondays. We wanted to share with you their thoughts on the whole experience at Mercy.
Mercy University (MU) provides a tremendous opportunity for members of the community to make a difference by volunteering to be a Faith & Finances Class Ally. Classes are held each Monday during the day, and on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. There are also opportunities to volunteer as a meal-provider who donates meals to the students and volunteers each semester.
Recently, I asked Noles and McCoy why they wanted to volunteer with MU. McCoy said volunteering was "right up my ally because of my accounting background and love of numbers. I felt I could do the most good helping people with budgets and money management because that’s what I’m good at."
Noles said, "I knew then that I wanted to be a part of an organization that strives to be the hands and feet of Jesus on a daily basis."
"[My favorite thing about volunteering has been finding out] the saying is true ... there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving," McCoy said.
Noles added, "In the Faith and Finance class, we celebrate wins of all sizes. If a class participant reduced cost in an area of our budget by only a few dollars or was able to eliminate the cost all together, we celebrate! We laugh, cry, and pray together…but our favorite thing to do is celebrate together!"
Both ladies agreed they had no complaints or suggestions about how the classes could be improved, so I asked them what had surprised them most in their ally experience.
"People are not always completely destitute, homeless or hungry when they reach out for help. It’s encouraging that most people are not looking for a handout…. They are mostly looking for ways to help themselves. They want to be self-sufficient. They just need help getting there," McCoy said.
"... the first thing that caught my attention was the 'family atmosphere' during my first few visits into the clinic. TMM is a place where anyone can go and feel at home. I firmly believe this atmosphere is what sets TMM apart and patients and participants need this to succeed more than they may realize. The TMM family of staff and volunteers is such a special group of individuals!" Noles added. "And, the most rewarding thing about my ally experience has been seeing hope restored in a student’s life when they realize it’s never too late to change how they view and manage their finances!"
"Yes," McCoy chimed in. She said it's also been surprising to see the age of the ladies in the class this semester are retirement age. "... but they still have goals and want to make a change to improve managing finances. I know that other classes have a range of ages."
McCoy wants you to know TMM is helping "empower people to help themselves" by provising them with medical, dental, spiritual and educational opportunities.
And, Noles added, "Mercy University and TMM is group of individuals who are ROCKSTARS at what they do!! They are invested in every aspect of their organization and have a full understanding of what needs to be done for the people in our community."
Both ladies summed up their experience by encouraging others to attend a "60 Minutes With Mercy" tour at the clinic's Lyons facility.
"I have been to two tours! I highly recommend it for each and every person in our community. I learn something new each time I come here!" exclaimed Noles.
"...and I would recommend the tour to others in the community," said McCoy, "because it gives more exposure to the program. It is encouraging when a non-profit organization tries to be as transparent and open as possible. It gives donors and volunteers the opportunity to see first-hand the work being done and how their donations and volunteer work can benefit the community as a whole. I especially like listening to first-hand experiences from people who have been helped by TMM. In my opinion, personal testimony is more powerful than anything!"
We can't say enough THANKS to our volunteers like Noles & McCoy who make what we do at Mercy possible each day. As we work together to PUT GOD'S LOVE IN ACTION, we will change the culture of poverty in and around Toombs County!
If you are interested in volunteering with The Mercy Ministries, or if you'd like to provide meals for our volunteers and students, please visit our
"Get Involved" page of our website and contact Jessica Thursby.
If you are interested in volunteering as an MU Class Ally, visit our
Transformation of Community page of our website and contact Clint Hutcheson.
If you would like to come to a "60 Minutes With Mercy" tour at our facility,
or if you'd like for our Mercy Team to come do a presentation for you
and your friends at your home or place of business, contact
Casey Hutcheson 912-524-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org