First her mother died from cancer. Eighteen months later her father died. Jocelyn McCoy was devastated. But with time and the sage advice of a wise woman, Jocelyn found her way out of the devastating grief by volunteering.
“I was looking for a way out of the valley I was in following the deaths of my parents when a smart lady suggested that I think about taking on some of the things my mother was passionate about and that would have made her happy. That was the best advice I ever received,” Jocelyn said. “Mother had instilled in all seven of us children the value of giving and the notion of doing something to make others happy. We were a ‘family of givers’ so it wasn’t hard to get involved. And giving to others helped me heal.”
Jocelyn volunteers in Davidson and Rutherford Counties, Tennessee. Her primary focus has been leading and volunteering in ministries at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, a congregation of more than 20,000 members. She is proud to be a core member of the leadership team at Mt. Zion that was the first faith-based organization to hold a Relay For Life event for the American Cancer Society (ACS). The Congregation is still the largest faith-based Relay For Life organization in the U.S., raising nearly $49,000 in an overnight event held in early June.
Relay For Life events held throughout the country honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost – like Jocelyn’s mother – and help fight back against a disease that has already taken too many. Jocelyn currently serves on the ACS Tennessee Relay For Life State Leadership Council to provide guidance and input for Relay For Life events across Tennessee, and works with ACS state leadership to ensure Relay events are poised for success each year.
Relay For Life involvement isn’t her only volunteer activity at Mt. Zion. Jocelyn is also involved as a lead servant, or mentor, in the Congregation’s “Bridge Ministry” – bridging members from membership to discipleship. “Through the Bridge Ministry program we seek to help each member find her or his passion, purpose and ministry,” Jocelyn says.
When asked about the benefits of all her involvement, Jocelyn humbly says, “I have come to understand that when I’m able to help and bless others, there is always something said or done that blesses me in return. It’s not about my gaining anything. Everyone needs attention, and I am drawn to the shy, to the marginalized and to the underdog. It’s amazing the life lessons I’ve learned just by being serving others,” she says.
Some of the lessons she’s learned include the understanding that all people are different. We must respect each person and accept her or him wherever they are in their lives, she says. She also has come to realize the importance of modeling a positive attitude to those she comes in contact with, in spite of the circumstances she and they are facing.
In addition to her work at Mt. Zion Jocelyn volunteers for community events benefiting her alma mater, Trevecca Nazarene University, where she is employed as an Adult Degree Completion Recruiter. She is also President of the Smyrna Cemetery Organization, dedicated to continuing revitalization efforts of one of the oldest African-American cemeteries in Rutherford County, and has volunteered for the heart walk and other fundraising events.
Doing Good is pleased to recognize Jocelyn McCoy, a resident of Rutherford County, as the Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month for July.
How are you blessed by volunteering? Please join the conversation.
Doing Good is a new organization committed to promoting volunteerism in Metro Nashville by telling the stories of local volunteers through various media, including radio, television, print and the Internet. By educating and inspiring others about volunteerism, Doing Good seeks to increase volunteer involvement.
Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month is a free program produced by Doing Good. Nominations may be submitted to recognize any Nashville area volunteer for the good they do in the community.
Doing Good services are free to non-profit and government agencies.
Volunteer of the Month nominations and donations to Doing Good are accepted at www.DoingGood.tv.