Once Abby T. ’20 learned about a community assistance fund that distributes grants to local organizations and families in need at the real estate agency where her parents both work, she knew she wanted to apply for a grant to donate to her Junior Service Learning Program site. Her efforts were rewarded as she presented Gayle Priddy, executive director of The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock, with a $1,000 check this month.
While reflecting on the inspiration behind her act of kindness, Abby acknowledged the positive ways in which the organization has impacted her during her time of service there this year. “The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock has provided me with experiences that will affect me for the rest of my life, and given me a sense of compassion I don’t think I could find anywhere else,” she said. “It has presented me with a different perspective of the life lived by the less fortunate.”
Established by The Janet Jones Company in Little Rock, the Johnson Melhorn Rainbow Fund’s mission is to help fulfill the human needs of home and shelter with compassion and understanding, two characteristics the realtor whose memory it honors embodied during his successful career with the agency. Abby reached out to the fund’s supervisor with information about Helping Hand’s mission and needs, and she ended up receiving a $1,000 donation for the local food pantry and thrift shop.
“I believe it is my duty as not only an active Christian, but a contributor to my community, to find some way to give back to those who have no way to provide for themselves,” Abby said. “For these reasons I have decided to give back through the money the Johnson Melhorn Rainbow Fund has graciously donated, and I am forever grateful for this fund, and for The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock.”
For years, Mount St. Mary Academy’s foundation and traditions of service and mercy have inspired young women like Abby to make a difference in their communities and the world. Its unique Junior Service Learning Program is one of the hallmarks of the school’s commitment to integrating service into its curriculum. All students participate in a yearlong off-campus service learning experience their junior year, through which they use their talents and abilities to provide meaningful service to 25 organizations in the Little Rock community. While these opportunities provide the chance for Mount St. Mary students to have an impact on their service sites, the experience typically has just as powerful of an impact on the students, as illustrated through Abby’s thoughtful reflection.
Thank you, Abby, for your commitment to live Mercy. Your act of kindness represents the many like it that take place throughout the Mount St. Mary community each day.
Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.