|From left: Gina Rowand of Mercy Pediatrics, Emily Convery, Jim Convery of the United Parcel Service Independet Pilots Association (IPA), Debbie Hockett of Mercy Pediatrics, Carolyn Klingaman of Mercy Pediatrics, Wittenberg Director of Community Service Kristen Collier|
Emily Convery of Louisville, Ky., Wittenberg class of 2009, is one such student who chose to go above and beyond the call of duty. During the spring semester, Convery took her community service experience to new heights while volunteering at Springfield’s Mercy Medical Center.
Convery felt a sense of urgency to secure extra funding for Mercy’s Pediatrics unit, which was lacking some of the comforts of home. Each year the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), the pilots union of UPS, supports a philanthropic cause. Thousands of dollars worth of toys, video games and other children’s items are annually distributed to children at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where Convery volunteered before coming to Wittenberg.
“I was always taught that service should address the needs of the community, and I saw some needs at Mercy that needed to be addressed to better serve the children in the community,” Convery said.
Taking note of the generosity that the IPA showed to Kosair Children’s Hospital, Convery contacted the board in hopes of getting organization to donate funds to Mercy, a process which proved to be lengthy. Many letters had to be written and hospital codes obtained during the justification process for the funds.
“I was so thrilled when IPA approved my request and was generous enough to donate $1,000 to Mercy Pediatrics,” Convery said. “IPA also expressed interest in possibly donating in future years.”
Convery is no stranger to community service. Her involvement in volunteer activities extends from early years spent as a girl scout and through various grade school initiatives, both of which she credits with providing “a strong foundation for future endeavors.” Her high school, coincidentally named Mercy, also stressed the importance of service learning, which was implemented into each class.
During her senior year “the pinnacle of the service learning program occurred,” and Convery had to design and execute a service project.
“I chose to address the needs of an Immigrant Community Center in West Louisville that was in need of assistance for its after school program for kids,” Convery said. By the program’s end, she had collected nearly $4,500 worth of computer software and snacks.
Adding to Convery’s long list of reasons why she loves to volunteer is something much more personal. Her severe asthma has left her hospitalized many times, and it has helped her “become acutely aware of the needs hospitals face.”
A biochemistry and molecular biology major with minors in sociology and women’s studies, Convery plans to attend medical school after her Wittenberg career, possibly specializing in Pediatric Pulmonology. While at Wittenberg, she plans to continue volunteering at Mercy Medical Center, even though her community service requirement has been fulfilled.
“I feel there is a distinct difference in going to community service as opposed to actually doing it,” Convery said of why she chose to go out of the normal realm of the community service experience.
This “distinct difference” has set her apart from other volunteers and will no doubt continue to resonate within the Wittenberg community in future volunteer opportunities.
- Erica Strauss '07
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