By Jennifer Meshanko for Island Connection
Sue Veon is a native Charlestonian who is giving back to her local community by volunteering at both Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach locations on Johns Island and downtown Charleston. Growing up in Charleston, Sue attended Catholic schools and graduated from Bishop England High School. During high school, Sue would volunteer at the Neighborhood House with her fellow classmates. She obtained a nursing degree from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing. Sue got married six months after graduating from nursing school. Her husband was in the Army and stationed at different bases. While stationed in Alabama, Sue’s son was born. A month later, Sue’s husband tragically died in a helicopter crash. Sue and her young son moved back to Charleston. Soon after, she started working for St. Francis Hospital, where she would work for 43 years in the labor and delivery, nursery and postpartum units. In 2009, Sue retired from St. Francis Hospital. She visits her son and his family in Pennsylvania as often as she can. Sue and her sister enjoy traveling the world together. They’ve visited England, Ireland, Wales, Salt Lake City and the Bahamas.
Three years ago, Sue’s friend from high school, Cecila Velte, brought her to the Neighborhood House to help serve lunch. Vonceil Mitchell, Lunch Program Manager, needed another volunteer on Fridays, and Sue has been volunteering there ever since. About a year later, Sue mentioned to board member, Sister Bridget Sullivan, she would like to volunteer at the Johns Island site once a week as well. Sue started out volunteering in the clothing room but found her niche on the front desk.
Sue enjoys volunteering for Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, because she is able to help those who are less fortunate. “At OLM, I am able to interact with the staff and can see the good they do, and it makes me very proud to be a little part of a terrific team,” Sue says. “At Neighborhood House, I am part of a very efficient team that serves lunch to a community that may not have the means to get lunch that day.” Sue believes treating people with dignity and respect can make a positive change in someone’s life. Sue says, “The clients are very respectful to us and many make the effort to tell us ‘Thank you’ and ‘God Bless You.’” Sue encourages anyone who has the time should try volunteering. “The opportunities are out there, and the benefits are endless.”
Volunteer Spotlight is a column in The Island Connection highlighting members of the community who give their time to help others. If you know of a volunteer who deserves the spotlight email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ d like to get involved with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and make a positive change in someone’s life, contact Jennifer Meshanko via phone (843)559-4109 or email email@example.com.