National Volunteer Month Spotlight: Mercy Action Project (MAP)

Spring 2021 Efforts Result in $1,740 Impact in Local Community

April is National Volunteer Month, and Trocaire is marking the occasion by highlighting some of the recent good work by the college’s Mercy Action Project (MAP).

What is MAP?

Service is in Trocaire’s very DNA as a college founded by the Sisters of Mercy. As part of Trocaire’s commitment to its Mercy heritage and the impact service makes in the community, every student must participate in MAP before graduation.

This co-curricular learning experience provides local service opportunities that integrate Trocaire’s mission while connecting that service to a student’s career path. The purpose of MAP is to promote a campus culture committed to personal enrichment and service in the spirit of the Sisters.

Spring 2021 MAP students had the opportunity to serve in a group project supporting Jewish Family Services of Western New York (JFS).

Immigrant and Refugee Resettlement Project

One of the ways JFS assists the local refugee, immigrant and asylum-seeking population is by welcoming them to their new homes and providing household necessities to get them started. This spring, MAP students—with help from the generosity of the Trocaire community—collected 20 baskets of household goods to help that effort, which will be placed in houses awaiting their new refugee and immigrant residents.

MAP students raised more than $1,000 worth of basket items, in addition to $500 in gift cards that will allow JFS Resettlement Project families to purchase items needed to settle into their homes themselves.

Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, would be proud as our students committed to working in the name of one of the Sisters’ Critical Concerns, Immigration,” said Colleen Steffen, coordinator of community-based learning at Trocaire. “These baskets give dignity to those needing it most by helping them to set up their home with blankets, comfort items, cleaning supplies and emergency items as they begin new lives.

COVID-19 Relief Fund

MAP students also supported JFS’ COVID-19 relief fund by selling 48 succulents in one week, resulting in $240. These funds will go to benefit the three groups JFS has identified as suffering most as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: children, families and senior citizens.

COVID-19 has definitely shifted the way service and volunteering looks in our world,” said Steffen. “Despite this adjustment, our Spring 2021 MAP students have stepped up and made a difference. We each have the power to carry the Mercy legacy forward, and I am proud to see our students make this impact in our community.