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National Volunteer Month profile: Evelyn in Virginia


Our annual World Care Benefit and Celebration is not only a way for us to raise money, but a chance to introduce ourselves and our work to new people. In 2009, Evelyn Mercantini was one of those people.

“I was so touched by their spirituality and dedication to their work that I wanted to learn more about FMS,” she said.

The following year she was helped coordinate the event, and now she’s serving on our board of directors as secretary/treasurer. We’re happy to have Evelyn and feature her as today’s profile for National Volunteer Month.

Here’s what she has to say about FMs and volunteering:

“I was very touched by FMS’ spirit of giving so enthusiastically and their solidarity with the poor in the US and abroad. FMS has very much impacted my life spiritually and it has also made me more aware of the needs of others.

FMS has taught me that we can make a difference in the world. When I read the blogs of our missioners and hear the stories of our returned missioners I realize that they make a difference everyday. I want to make a difference.

Another organization that is very important to me is Voice of the Faithful (VOTF),  a lay organization that started in 2002 in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. I am the leader of VOTF Northern Virginia which focuses on providing support to survivors of clergy abuse.

I feel that my life is filled with many blessings, and I believe in ‘giving back’ to my community and those less fortunate all around the world. I am always touched when giving in the simplest way can bring laughter, smiles and appreciate to those who have so little.

I volunteer around my community of Reston, Virginia, and in various ministries at my church, Our Lady Queen of Peace, in Arlington. Also, my family is most important to me, so, when I can, I spend my time with my grandsons.

I love being a part of making a difference but I know that there is so much more I can be doing. I’m still working to be fulfilled because I just don’t feel that I’m doing enough – because I have so much.”

Honor Evelyn’s volunteer work; make a donation to Franciscan Mission Service today.

We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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