Sunday, May 16, 2010

Volunteer Profile: Kellen MacBeth

Editor's Note: This post is the first in a series on CVN volunteers. We've asked volunteers questions about volunteering to give you a sense of why people choose to volunteer with CVN, and to get to know some of our AWESOME volunteers. If you'd like to be highlighted, e-mail us at

Name of volunteer: Kellen MacBeth     

Position with CVN:   Monthly Volunteer Chair

Hometown, State and/or country: Rochester, NY

What first drew you to CVN? After graduating from Marymount University, I was looking for ways to connect with people my own age who shared a similar passion for giving back to the community. A colleague told me about CVN and after attending a few social and volunteer events, I was very impressed and decided to get more involved. I still think it’s impressive what the CVN volunteers are able to accomplish in their spare time. 

Why do you think it's important to volunteer? I think that every individual is called to help those around them and to make a contribution towards building a better community. Volunteering offers me the opportunity to do things and help people that I wouldn’t normally have a chance to.

How do you balance volunteering with work, etc.? Sometimes it can be difficult to balance any off-hours activities with your day job, especially if you have made commitments to take a leading role. Some weeks it kind of seems like I have two jobs, but usually at the end of the day I am glad I was able to volunteer and hopefully make a difference in someone else’s life. There are few better things than that.

Though a community is made up of MANY needs, what three causes are you most drawn to volunteer with? (not counting politics, though we think civic engagement is HUGELY important!) Since high school, I have been very passionate about youth engagement and empowerment (empowering youth to make a difference to build the skill-sets essential for any functioning democratic society). Besides that, I really think volunteer opportunities that force you to step outside of your comfort zone and interact with new and diverse people do a lot to help you grow and mature.

What's the name and website of an organization or non-profit you'd like others to know about, and in a sentence, what do they do (in Arlington or nationally, though again, not counting political groups)? I actually have two organizations. The Arlington Community Foundation ( does a lot of great work in general but they have recently started a Youth Philanthropy initiative that has empowered young people to become leaders and fund community betterment projects in Arlington. Nationally, I really love the work of Catholic Relief Services ( because they do a great job engaging people throughout the United States in their international development work.

Throughout your life, what was the most memorable time you volunteered and why? I think the most memorable volunteer experience was helping found the Global Charity Project at Marymount University during my junior year. It really helped me develop a passion for giving back to see how a group of 20 or so college students could touch the lives of not only people in Arlington, but in Africa and South America through the fundraising and volunteer projects we conducted.

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