We all know the reasons behind why we volunteer- it helps others, gives a sense of purpose in life, and well it makes you feel good. But what does volunteering really mean? Is it providing a service without monetary gain? For me, it is much more than that.
It was a few days before Christmas Eve, when the principal announced that gift baskets were being given away after school. I, being an anxious child, could not wait until the bell rung. Patiently standing by the secretary’s office, I saw a large brown bag. When she handed it to me, I was surprise. I thought I was going to get a beautifully wrapped gift. I unenthusiastically opened it and to my surprise saw coloring pencils, paint, a scrapbook, candy, and my favorite of all, a pink sweatshirt. Volunteers put together gifts for students in need.
Even though I never got the chance to say thank you, I was nevertheless grateful. From this experience and many more, I had an understanding of what volunteering means. It is working with the community, being present to lend a hand, and sometimes offering a hug when it is desperately needed. Often you may not receive recognition, but that is not why we volunteer. We do so because we choose not to ignore the needs of others.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!