‘Tis the Season to Volunteer

The holidays are always a good time to volunteer, mostly because there are so many opportunities. But lets think about the many volunteering opportunites that we have all year long.

 During the holidays we have several volunteering opportunites like Salvation Army bell ringing, Toys for Tots, Project Christmas and the Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner.

 There are many places around our community where you could volunteer.

 “I volunteer a lot. During the summer I had signed up to do Volunteens at the hospital, but my schedule got to be a problem with baby-sitting and going to Australia,” said freshman Joseph Barnett. “I also volunteer through Boy Scouts. One year through Boy Scouts we raked up leaves for those that couldn’t. Twice every year we help set up and clean up for the stake feed in Hixton.”

 “I volunteered at Pine View Care Center during the summer of ’10,” said junior Connie Jowett.

 Some people are given a little nudge from people they love to do volunteering.

 “I also volunteer through Hats Off for Hospice. My mom was the first one to introduce me to the idea of it. Hats Off for Hospice happens every two years,” said Barnett. “It’s like all of these people coming together and sharing their love of music. Everyone comes together to make the show really great, we always have very diverse music choices, everything from greek music to Lady Gaga.”

 Especially with the hard economic times there are even more opportunites for volunteering.

 “I volunteer at the “Friends Food Shelf” or “Friends Sharing Food.” It runs every Monday from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds,” said Kristin.

 There are many reasons people volunteer.

 “I volunteer because it’s fun! The people I have met are really nice. Sometimes when I’ve had a really bad day at school, and I go there and the people there make my day!”said Kristin. “They always make me smile. Another reason I volunteer is to help people. When people come to pick up food, you can always tell how grateful they are. It makes it worthwhile.”

 “I volunteer to help make the elderly people’s day. It also made me feel better about myself. Knowing that what I was doing was putting a smile on someone’s face made me feel really good!” said Jowett.

 “I always try to make sure I have time to help others. My mom wants to have me play the Trombone for one of her hospice clients,” said Barnett.

 Volunteering isn’t for everyone (at least in some people’s opinions).

 “I would say if your willing to help people and sacrifice your own time you should definitely think about volunteering. There’s nothing more worth your time, than seeing someone smile because you’ve helped them out!” said Barnett.

 “I would say anyone can volunteer, but, I’d say people who are going into the medical field or going into nursing homes should definitely volunteer. They really appreciate anyone, and really like to see young faces,” said Jowett.

 “In my opinion, I think everyone should volunteer. Not only does it look great on a college application, but, it’s a great experience,” said Kristin.

Volunteering can bring people out of their box–it has the ability to change people.

“When I first started volunteering, I was shy and wouldn’t talk. But now, I have a more extraverted personality. Now I make friends a lot easier and I don’t get nervous when talking in front of people,” said Kristin.

Some people don’t volunteer because they don’t know who to contact.

“If you want to volunteer at Pine View you should contact Judy Olsen the activities director. If you want to volunteer at any other nursing home you can visit crossculturalsolutions.org on the website they have a list of county’s that have open volunteering spots,” said Jowett.

“If you’re interested in volunteering at the hospital, you should talk to the hospital volunteer coordinator. If you’re interested in volunteering for Hats Off for Hospice you can talk to either the hospital volunteer coordinator, or the hospice manager,” said Barnett. “If you want to help with the steak feed in Hixton, you can ask me to contact Jeff Shoemaker and I’ll put in a good word for you. It’s more of a Boy Scouts thing, but we’d really appreciate any help people will give us.”