The Cougar Volunteer Spirit is Alive and Well in Charleston

This blog is a project by public relations students at the College of Charleston. Since its inception in 2004, the Cougar Volunteer Spirit has showcased dozens of students who give of their time, effort and hearts to helping those in need. They don't do it for recognition like this, but their stories need to be shared because of their admirable qualities of character and caring. "Be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Ghandi said. That's the Cougar Volunteer Spirit that roars through these pages. Click on the side photos to see the articles. See photos of the students who wrote the pieces at the end. Thanks!

Monday, March 21, 2011

MARY PAPPAS-Caring Heart Hospice/Habitat for Humanity/ Outreach Learning Center

Helping Her Community One Day at a Time
By Kyle Hoover
Mary Pappas(center) with other Outreach Learning Center Volunteers

Mary Pappas has been one of my good friends for about three years of my college career. She is a kind, ambitious and wonderful person. She always makes everyone happy and it is done as no choir to her.

Originally from Charlotte, N.C., Mary has lived in Charleston for four years now and considers the Holy City home. She says there is something about the city that she just doesn't want to leave. I automatically agreed with her when she said this.

Mary has spent her years here at the College of Charleston making the most of her opportunities. You can either find Mary interning at the City of Charleston's Office of Cultural Affair, volunteering for one of many organizations or hanging out with her friends.

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Major: Corporate Communications
Graduation: May, 2011

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: I volunteer at three different organizations such as A Caring Heart Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, and the Outreach Learning Center. At the Caring Heart Hospice, I spend time talking with the elderly and keeping them company. We play games such as bingo or go on walks with them. At Habitat for Humanity I screen families to see if they are eligible for home assistance. The Outreach Learning Center is for inner city kids that come here after school where we help them with their homework and make snacks with them.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT COMMUNITY SERVICE?: I like seeing results its enjoyable to work with an organization or an individual and see progress. I like that I know that I am helping someone that is not as fortunate as some people are.

MOST MEMORABLE VOLUNTEER SERVICE: My most memorable volunteer experience was doing the family screenings for Habitat for Humanity. I loved being able to look into the eyes of the families and tell them they were eligible for a house.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR ORGANIZATIONS: I'm proud that people go to organizations to help. Non-profits and volunteers have so much to give that they need people to ask for help. It shows true character when people go out of their way to help other people.

HOW HAVE YOU PERSONALLY BENEFITED FROM VOLUNTEERING: I have personally benefited from this because I have met a lot of great people. To hospice patients, to habitat workers; all have been great to me.

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: I would recommend it. No matter where you are, volunteering it is always a beneficial experience. It's good for not only you, but also for the people you are helping.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WOULD DESCRIBE YOU: Well to sum it all up in a couple words I would have to say loving, caring, giving, friendly, outgoing, and helpful.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I plan on staying in Charleston and continue my volunteering. I also have plans to travel around Europe for a couple of months.

To learn more about A Caring Heart Hospice go to, to learn more about Habitat for Humanity go to, to learn more about the Outreach Learning Center go to

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