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Volunteering: The Connector of People

Since National Volunteer Week is right around the corner, April 21-27, it is important to reflect on your year of volunteering and how you can further your service.

As the official definition of a volunteer is “a person who performs a service willingly and without pay” there are many ways to engage in community service. You can: tutor peers, help out at a food bank, join a community cleanup, organize a fundraiser, and way more! As our community helps us a lot, it is always important to give back. Even 1 hour of a day can help very much.

I am passionate about volunteering as I love to help others and see myself making a small but meaningful impact. I can not remember when I did not volunteer at least once a week, and I believe my passion helped me keep this streak. You should not think of volunteering as an obligation but as an opportunity. Think about your favorite school subjects, what you like doing in your free time, or even your favorite traits about yourself. Then, with this information, do some web searching on local volunteer opportunities to help you share your knowledge and make your time enjoyable. There are so many options that are just waiting to be found!

But don’t worry; you do not have to do only in-person volunteering since there are many online options, too. Numerous websites let you help others virtually. For example, every Sunday, I do a 1-hour tutor session with a girl our age in the Ukraine to help her learn English. Over time, I have created a strong bond with her despite her being over 5,000 miles away. Without volunteering, I would not have been able to meet this amazing person and build a fantastic friendship with her. Not only has volunteering helped me make an impact and meet new people, but it has also given me many opportunities. While volunteering at my local food pantry, I recently met someone who works at GCSTOP (Guilford Country Solution to the Opioid Problem). He taught me a lot about what this organization does and even invited me to tour the facility and learn more about all its resources. Because of this, GCSTOP is now offering to partner with my school’s SADD club and educate everyone at my school about drug overdose and how to administer Naloxone.

So, as National Volunteer Week comes up, I challenge you to look into ways to engage and help with your community. It can be a little task or a big task; everything matters. It is never too late to start volunteering!


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