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

KAITLIN MCWHORTER-- Crisis Ministries

Student-Athlete Gets Head Start On Serving the Community
By Bo Clarkson

For as long as she can remember, Kaitlin McWhorter and her family have been making trips to nearby soup kitchens every holiday season. Kaitlin has since continued such traditions; she wakes up every Tuesday and Thursday at the crack of dawn to prepare breakfast by 5:30 am at the shelter.

Kaitlin is a pioneer. She is a young, active, student-athlete who still finds time to do community service every week between mandatory study halls, practice, travel and meets. Her abilities in track & field include: shot put, high jump, long jump, and the 50 meter dash.

Despite the fact that this is only her first year in college, Kaitlin comes out of the gate in a sprint. She takes advantage of every free moment and plays bingo with senior citizens in her spare time. She also works at two shelters.

About Kaitlin McWhorter…

(Hometown: Baskin Ridge, N.J. Major: Exercise Science Expected Graduation: May 2014)

Past Volunteer Activities: Community Soup Kitchens, New Jersey

Current Volunteer Activities: Kaitlin gives her time to Crisis Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides shelters for people of all ages.

What do you enjoy most about your experience? My favorite part is listening to people’s different stories. You really get to meet quite the variety of people. But hearing what people have been through always amazes me.

Most memorable experience? Well, one young man’s story has really stuck with me. He came to the shelter as an 18 year old. His mother recently died and she was the last person in his family that he had left. He was put on the street with no sense of income, so he turned to Crisis Ministries. He plans to join the Navy.

Proudest Contribution? Well I am developing relationships with people that I would never otherwise get to know, but [laughs] I am just giving back to the community one grit at a time.

Personal benefits from volunteering? It makes me feel good about myself, and it has changed my outlook on a lot of things in the city. I’m not quick to judge people I see on the street. Everyone has their own stories, and why they are where they are.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering? It’s a great experience, try to do it as much as you can. I’m trying to do 100 hours by the end of this year. Right now I’m only at 20.

How would your friends and family describe you? A thoughtful and caring individual.

Plans for after graduation? I want to be in the Peace Corps two years, and after that I am planning on going to grad school for physical therapy with a concentration in special education.

For more information about the type of work Kaitlin does, and how you can get involved, visit

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