Giving back to the community
April 2, 2015

During the last four years of college, volunteering opportunities haven’t been in short supply. As part of the Honors Program and Phi Eta Sigma (Honor Society), I have emails coming in frequently with new opportunities. With two jobs, an internship, and school, these emails were not helpful in my search for volunteer experience during this internship because of scheduling conflicts, so I decided to get creative and approach the community service aspect of the internship on my own.

In the fall semester, I went to the local Lutheran college church to help rake leaves and prepare for winter. I also helped with clean-up and dishes after several Wednesday night services, giving me the chance to spend time with some of my friends that I only see during the Wednesday evening services. I was happy to give back to a church that had made me feel so comfortable and included.

The next project I took on was scooping snow around my neighborhood. We had a few large snows, giving me the chance to help some of the older people that live beside my apartment complex. I cleared off cars in the parking lot one morning when I was up early, and went to the retirement home I worked at for a few years to help them with their snow. While doing this, I was able to see some of the residents that I missed and a few of my friends that still work there. It was so amazing to be able to see the residents again because I formed a close bond with quite a few of them and still think about them often.

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Scooping after a light snow, mainly for photo purposes at the time.

I spent my last four community service hours volunteering at the local food pantry, which is housed in a very old church building. There, I helped to sort the new boxes of food and clothing, and helped to clean the building. A few other students had previously been there and had helped the food pantry to take out carpet and put down new flooring, so there was quite a bit of a mess. I had volunteered there during my freshman year of college, and it was so interesting to go back and see what had changed. I love being able to give back to the community that has supported me throughout my college years, and it worked out perfectly during the school year because one of my classes required community service as well, giving me the chance to make it count twice. With school ending soon, I plan to volunteer at the Humane Society this summer to fill some of the hours that school used to occupy.

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Local food pantry housed in an old church.