During National Service Week 2022, members of the sorority are sharing their experiences as a community volunteer and the impact that volunteering has had on their lives.

VP Programs Megan Sheppard (Alpha Iota) is a dedicated community volunteer who feels that volunteering makes the community stronger and makes it harder for hate to have a place. To close out National Service Week, she is sharing her stories of organizations she volunteers with and the impact it has had on her life. 

Megan is a volunteer firefighter with Mauricetown Fire Company (MFC) and responds to emergency calls related to fire, motor vehicle collisions, and emergency medical services. She is also the secretary of the organization, a role which involves taking meeting minutes and making sure all members are aware of monthly community activities and drills. 

When asked how working with MFC has impacted her life Megan shares, “my family has been involved with the fire company since before I was born, it’s in my blood. My grandfather was a founding member, all of my uncles served, and my dad continues to serve as Captain. Being able to help those in my community alongside my dad has been an incredible gift.”

During Covid, Megan and her mom started volunteering at Millville Hope Center – Care & Share to serve the homeless members of their community with meals. The program feeds 50+ people per day and serves as a Code Blue/Red overnight shelter when there are extremely cold or hot temperatures. 

Megan doesn’t physically volunteer here currently due to her work schedule, but her mom continues to volunteer there 5-6 days a week. Megan makes donations and helps with collecting food and clothing donations from others. Megan says, “Just knowing how much Care & Share makes a difference in the lives of those receiving the food and the purpose it has given my mom in her retirement has been incredible.”

Megan also fundraises and builds awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention South Jersey Chapter and The Trevor Project.

While service has always been a part of Megan’s life, OPhiA has helped her to hone her leadership skills and become even more aware of areas in need of assistance and people to serve. She’s learned how her personal skills and experiences can best serve her community and make an impact. 

When asked what she would say to our collegiate members who may be thinking about how they will stay connected through community service once they graduate she says, “DO IT! But don’t overextend yourself. Know your limitations and find an organization you’re passionate about that will value the gifts you have to offer.”