Volunteering is more than just a helpful experience. Volunteering is more than just a nice thing to put on a resume. Volunteering is more than just helping people who are less fortunate than you.
Volunteering is a growing experience.
I have been volunteering for as long as I can remember. I went to a Catholic School from 5th grade to the end of high school. Many of the kids were required to complete a set number of Community Service hours in order to apply for Confirmation. Even though I was not Catholic, I had to complete the number of hours as well, and while other kids in my class dreaded doing this, I loved it.
I did almost triple the number of hours I needed. First, I watched some of the younger kids in my school during the after school program. Then on the weekends, I would helped to coach the younger children in both Track and Field and on the Swim team. Every Thursday, I would also help to teach kids how to swim. I loved it. I continued to do this all throughout high school.
When I got to college, I wanted to continue working with kids. I volunteered with a organization called Tree House Books , a wonderful organization in North Philadelphia that helps the children in the area with their literacy skills. I also interned at a company called United By Blue, where I helped to clean up the oceans and waterways.
Now as I sit here and reminisce about all of the work that I have done, I’m beginning to realize that I think that I think I benefited the most from these experiences, and its not because of they appear to be resume boosters, or because they help me to feel good about my self or anything.
It’s because everyone I’ve taught or helped has influenced me or taught me a life lesson in some way shape or form.
I’ve learned lessons about dedication. I’ve seen kids push through things out of sheer determination and will. If a kid that was afraid of water one week can swim an entire length of a Olympic pool the next week, why shouldn’t I be able to accomplish my goals? I have no excuse.
If an elderly couple can make it out to an environmental cleanup week after week, why shouldn’t I take time out of my day to recycle and help make the world a better place?
If a child works hard everyday to improve their reading skills, Why shouldn’t I dedicate my days to becoming the best me that I can be?
Volunteerism has taught me that nothing is impossible. Nothing is unattainable. Nothing is too challenging for me to do.
All the kids I have taught have taught me this. All the friends I have worked for have taught me this.
If you ever get the chance to volunteer, you should take it immediately. You will not regret it.