Kathy Mackie has spent her entire life serving others in her community, from helping feed her community as a child, serving in the armed forces for more than two decades and now as a member of The Mission Continues.
Growing up in rural Tennessee, Mackie said that in the summertime she used to help her parents harvest produce at the farm they owned. Mackie and her family would give whatever left over produce they had to their neighbors and other members in the community to make sure they were taken care of. That upbringing and teaching helped Mackie become the person she is today.
“My parents served the community, so it's just in me,” Mackie said. “It’s important that we be the change agent that we want the world to be. It starts with us so, how do we do that? We do that by serving others. That's why it's important to me, it's just inside of me and that's probably the route that I took in the military. I wanted to help defend and do what I could to help this country become better and be the country that we know we can be.”
While in the military, Mackie served as a human resources specialist and professional recruiter. Throughout her career she was able to help not only fellow servicemen and women but civilians as well. She also spent four years deployed in Germany. Her experiences prepared her for her current role with The Mission Continues as an advisor on the Service Leadership Corps.
“I'm the liaison between the veterans that are going through the program and then facilitate the classes and programs that are going on,” Mackie said.
According to The Mission Continues website, The Service Leadership Corps is an opportunity for veterans to expand their network and maximize their skills to drive change efforts specific to their local communities. Corps members work individually and in small groups, learning about the very real and current challenges our country is facing in communities nationwide, and how to activate local veterans and community members to serve together. When the classwork and projects are done, Corps members will be equipped to lead a team of motivated volunteers as a Platoon Leader in an under-resourced community.
The Houston Dash and The Mission Continues have partnered up before in efforts to support the military community. In November 2021, the Dash alongside goalkeeper Jane Campbell worked with The Mission Continues at a local Houston ISD school to build ADA friendly flowerbeds, make the pathway wheelchair accessible and lay Mulch.
“I think having parents in the Navy and having a brother that still serves currently, and a grandfather who served, it’s quite special. I wouldn’t be able to do my job, and we wouldn’t be able to be out here, without them and their service,” Campbell said in November. “I can do anything in the community to help veterans and help those who still serve currently, I’m all for it. It’s a great honor to represent them in this way and be out here with The Mission Continues.”
On July 17, Campbell, The Dash, The Mission Continues and Nationwide teamed up for a volunteer event where Campbell and military veterans from the Mission Continues worked together to help build garden beds, farmhouse benches and other things needed for the organization. Mackie, who attended the event, said she was excited to be back working on volunteer projects after a break due to the pandemic.
Mackie hopes that more people will join The Mission Continues in their next project that will impact the Houston Gardens community. In September, Mackie and The Mission Continues will host a 9/11 service project at Ernest McGowen Elementary School on Sept. 10.
“Would love to have them out there,” Mackie said.
More information on the service project is available here.