Senior Adam Mertens ’20 was recently the subject of a Volunteer Spotlight in a newsletter published by St. Martha’s Hall, a local shelter care program for abused women and their children. Adam learned about St. Martha’s Hall at a volunteer fair and began giving working as a volunteer there last fall.
“I wanted to volunteer at St. Martha’s Hall so I could learn about how to help other people when they are coming out of an abusive relationship, and I wanted to help people who are less fortunate than me,” he said. Adam made arrangements for St. Martha’s staff to present to De Smet Jesuit students about domestic violence during Women’s History Month that were, unfortunately, canceled because of the shift to remote learning in March. Still, Adam is grateful for the knowledge he has gained from his experience. “During orientation, volunteers learn about how an abusive relationship starts and how to identify it,” he shared.
His responsibilities at St. Martha’s include sorting donations as well as his favorite job, playing with the children in residence and “seeing them smile in spite of their tough situation.”
“I have learned that even the simplest acts of kindness while volunteering can go a long way to help the organization your serving,” he said.
Adam plans to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia next fall to study business and political science. “I believe that De Smet has prepared me by allowing me to develop in my leadership skills and allowing me to grow in friendship with other people whom I wish to remain friends with for years to come.”