Abigail Beach ’22


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Lund, Correctional Volleyball, Outdoor Volunteer Efforts, and Food Shelf

What involvement did/do you have with MOVE? What program did/do you volunteer with and/or lead? What years?
First-Year apple picking, Lund Family Center, Correctional Volleyball, Outdoor Volunteer Efforts (OVE), food shelf

What’s your MOVE story?
Ever since I participated in the first-year apple picking, I have eagerly passed the Saint Michael’s College “MOVE board” almost every day to see if new volunteer opportunities have been posted. Volunteering is my passion, and having the opportunity to be part of a community service program through the MOVE program is an absolute blessing.

In my first year at SMC, I was able to participate in the first-year apple picking event. After we picked the apples, they were donated to the local food shelf for people who are less fortunate and need healthy, delicious food to eat. That same school year, I signed up for the opportunity to work at a local food shelf. This opportunity opened my eyes to how important it is to give back to our community if we have surplus time, money and/or energy.

This year I am a junior at SMC because I took a year off to receive treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. When I came back, the MOVE board was not the same. COVID took away many of the programs that MOVE was able to host. However, I discovered a new MOVE program called Outdoor Volunteer Efforts (OVE). Through OVE I have been helping out at the farm owned by Saint Michael’s College. Through OVE, we help harvest food in the fall semester and plant food in the spring semester as well as help prepare the farm for winter, open up the farm for spring, and tend the farm throughout the growing season! These OVE projects give me the feeling of being essential to the health of all who partake in the fresh produce grown on the farm.

In what ways did/does MOVE impact you?
MOVE has allowed me to realize that taking care of my mental health can benefit others if done through selfless and generous means. Not all self-care is selfish, while at the same time not all sacrifices have to be difficult.

If you are an alumni, what influence does MOVE continue to have on your life today?
My experiences with MOVE permanently shaped the way I approach conversations — with the knowledge that there is always common ground on which we can connect with one another.