Giving back to your community is something that everyone should do on a regular bases. Growing up in a small town, your community is always supporting you no matter what you are doing. Throughout high school we were always taught to give back whenever we got the chance even if it was for only a few hours, those few hours can help you build relationships and mean everything to someone that you are helping. With this is mind, I decided that I wanted to spread my 10 required hours out over different volunteer opportunities.
My first few hours came from helping clean up after dinner at the retreat. The best part about these few hours was being able to connect with people at the retreat that I hadn’t talked to or had even met yet. This helped me build more relationships among the Ogallala Commons Interns. The next 3 hours I spent helping out the local 4-H in cleaning the fairgrounds and setting up for the local Smith County Free Fair. I also spent a few helping clean up after fair was over. This volunteer work was a lot of fun for me as I was a member of 4-H for 14 years and this was the first summer that I was not participating in the fair. I also found this experience challenging, due to the fact that I am not the best with kids and was put in charge of directing the younger members in picking up trash and painting a few place around the fairgrounds. Unfortunately, I was not thinking about taking pictures while volunteering and do not have any pictures to show for these two community service events.
Even those these community service events were great, I wanted to do something that I hadn’t ever done before. After doing some thinking, I knew that I wanted to help out the community of Lebanon prepare for the 2nd Annual Lebanon Summer Bash. So, for another 3.5 hours of my community service time, I helped the City Council design a poster to be hung around the surrounding towns and then helped them hang the signs. The Council members thought this was a blast due to the fact that many of them are from older generations and do not know how operate computers very well. I enjoyed being able to connect with my community closer and with individuals I would not normally see or take the time to hold a conversation with. In the pictures below, you can see the sign I helped them design, as well as a poster I helped hang along the highway.
The last 1.5 hours of my community service, I helped the Kansas State University’s Horticulture Club set up, recruit new members and clean up at the KSU College of Agriculture Watermelon feed. I really enjoyed this project as I got to talk with people about something I am passionate about, horticulture. I also helped my club as I spread inspiring stories of being in Horticulture Club and everything that we do. The challenging part about this was the fact that sometimes it is hard for me to get outside my box and talk to people that I am not familiar with, however, after the first few people I talked with, I got over my stage- fright. As you can see in the pictures below, it was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed their evening. The pictures below show us setting up for the event and the group who volunteer their time.
Even though these were my last few hours of community service needed for Ogallala Commons, does not mean that I will not stop serving my community. I love each and every community that I become a part of and would do anything to pay them back.