Opportunities to give back

When I was in high school, I was highly involved in community service.  I was in my school’s Key Club for four years and was the president of the club my senior year.  We rang the bell to raise money for Salvation Army around Christmas time, cooked and served food to those in need at a local soup, held various canned food drives, had a clothes drive for people in the wintertime and so much more.

It’s a little sad to think that since I’ve came to Mount Union, I haven’t volunteered a whole lot in the community.  I have certainly tried to as much as I can but it is just time that always seems to get in my way.  The past few years I have volunteered with WRMU to hand out candy at Trunk-or-Treat.  This is an event where kids from all over Alliance can come to receive candy on Halloween but it’s in the middle of the day so it’s light outside.  This is just safer for kids than going door-to-door in the dark (although I bet a lot of kids do both!).

I have done a few more things here and there but nothing close to what I was doing in high school.  Recently, for a class project, I visited the Alliance Community Pantry.  This pantry serves so many people from the community every single day.  Families can go receive food to make it through their week.  The owner of the pantry said, “This food that our clients receive from us is ‘emergency food.’ It’s not going to be enough for them to survive on but it is enough to get them through.”  This means that if they are having a rough week with money they can go to the pantry to receive food for their family until they get their next paycheck and are able to go to the grocery store themselves.

Volunteers at the pantry help the clients go through and pick up the food.  Clients are only allowed a certain number of food items depending on the size of their family, so the volunteer also keeps track of that.  Next semester, it is my goal to volunteer more and specifically to volunteer at the Community Pantry once a week.

Another volunteer opportunity that I’m excited (and a tiny bit scared) about is giving blood.  I have never given blood in my life but have always wanted to.  Both my mom and dad have given blood for as long as I can remember and I really look up to them for that.  Giving blood is something that takes a half hour to an hour and helps save the lives of so many people across the world.  I’m nervous about giving because it’s my first time but I think a friend of mine who has given blood before and I are going to go together, so hopefully that will make it a little better. :]

If you’re someone who’s really interested in volunteer work, Alpha Phi Omega is the service fraternity on campus.  Although it’s called a fraternity, it is open to both males and females of all class ranks.  These students focus heavily on community service and volunteer work in the community and also have social events to bring the group together.  They seem like a great group of people and that is one thing I’d get involved with if I had more time.

Opportunities for volunteering are plentiful in the city and on campus. You just have to be willing to ask people if you can help.  Most people would love to receive extra help, and it makes me really happy to think that I can at least be making a tiny bit of a difference.

-Shannon

 

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