|Profile: Elizabeth McKee|
Elizabeth McKee's life is about service and helping those in need.
"My major life hope is that we all become world neighbors again, good citizens, that we give back."
Elizabeth McKee, a member of Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, and director of marketing for the UN Foundation, has had some interesting journeys so far in her young life.
"I had great parents that brought me up in the church. Had I not been, I still think I would have found it in my path somewhere. Sundays were always a day for our family to start the week, not to end it."
A native of Texas, early on she thought her life's work would be in animal science working "with smelly cows." But a chance to help a friend in college changed all that and started her on a life of service.
"A friend of mine had to drop out of college (Texas A&M) because she got pregnant, and there were not any child care facilities at the university," she says. She was challenged by a university administrator to raise the money to build a childcare center.
"We raised $360,000," she says. That experience was an "a ha moment," that taught her volunteers and professionals working together could make a difference.
“My personal hope is that I'll look back on life and have been a very good wife, a good mother and that my career has always been based in a kind of egoless environment of service.”
Joining the Peace Corps after college was the second pivotal experience of her life. She went to Bolivia as an agriculture marketing volunteer and helped build a corn cooperative. After witnessing how disadvantaged the women in the village were, she started a "mother's club."
"Just the ability for these women to have the power to speak to each other was huge."
After her stint with the Peace Corps she came back to the United States and was offered a job at the United Nations Foundation where she has become involved with the global anti-malaria campaign, Nothing But Nets.
The United Methodist Church is one of the partners along with the UN Foundation, National Basketball Association's NBA Cares Foundation, the Red Cross, and others. She has traveled to Africa several times to deliver insecticide-treated bed nets that protect people from mosquitoes carrying the disease.
"Malaria has surpassed HIV/AIDS and any other diseases in the number of infected," she says. "There are 500 million people infected with malaria."
Seeing people living in poverty has not affected her faith. People often ask her why God has "forgotten Africa."
"I think we're all God's children no matter what our faith is, no matter what our beliefs are, our economic status. I think, we, as their brothers and sisters have forgotten them."
McKee is engaged and plans to be married in September.
"My personal hope is that I'll look back on life and have been a very good wife, a good mother and that my career has always been based in a kind of egoless environment of service."
The following people contributed to this Profile:
Audio story by Mike Hickcox; print story by Kathy Gilbert.
UMC.org Profiles are produced by Pam Price, 615-742-5405.
Elizabeth's Spiritual Gifts
- Interpretation of Tongues
Learn more about your spiritual gifts
Elizabeth's Recommended Resources
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Africa Praise 1 - African University Choir CD
Book of Proverbs
High Resolution Video for use in worship services
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