As many of you may know, I am an active member of Alpha Phi Omega, and I absolutely love being apart of such a great group! Recently, I had my first volunteer outing with the organization. The whole trip reminded me exactly why I love to volunteer and why it is something everyone should do.
So the actual volunteering part was slightly boring. I basically sat and guarded a door when I wasn’t educating children about the differences between moths and butterflies. Yet, when I looked around, I noticed that where I was volunteering only had about three actual staff members.
This meant that the rest of the facility relied on volunteers. Now, why does this affect us, in particular? Well, I volunteered at a children’s discovery garden. Just by the name, I hope that you can tell that this facility revolved around education. I feel that educating our youth is particularly important since they are the future of this country.
Since it was a family oriented place advertised towards families not only of affluence but also those who are less fortunate, it was relatively inexpensive to view the birds, butterflies, and botanical beauties. This is why the place needed volunteers. If more people were staff members, the price just to walk around and have an educational experience with your children would skyrocket. That would leave the less wealthy in a bind.
It made my day, though, to see so many smiling faces walk by and be excited exactly where they were. No one was rushing to get through the garden to the next activity. No one was upset that they had butterflies fluttering by their ear. People were just happy to be there and it made me happy knowing I played a small role in them being able to be in a fantastic place.
So why volunteer? Yes, you usually get a cool t-shirt. Yes, you may get a few perks such as free food. But, the best thing you can get out of volunteering? For me, it is very nice to help out in my community. I have benefitted so much from being a Dallas citizen and I want everyone else to feel as lucky as I do.
Why volunteer in college, though? There is so much going on! There are constantly papers and tests and quizzes coming up. Homework loads are ridiculous. There is always something you should be studying. It can be overwhelming to take time out of your busy schedule to put someone else first. Yet, if you can swing it, you will leave feeling relieved and energized. In a place like college, you are taught to focus mainly on yourself. You focus on your grades. You focus on your well-being. You focus on your social life. Yet, that isn’t what the real would is all about. In the real world, you are going to need to be of service to others at some point. So, why not start now? Gain some real world knowledge, some good feelings, and *hopefully* some good karma. I promise, it will be worth every second!