For my last and final IA requirement for my freshman year of college, I decided to volunteer my time on the morning of Saturday April 13th. I signed up to make blankets for 2 hours for homeless or stray animals in the Columbus area. The event was called “Blankets for Buddies” and I was at the Honors and Scholars House from 10 A.M. – 12 P.M. This was part of the Honors College Community Day, as a way for students to help serve their community and learn more about the Columbus area. There was a multitude of events that one could participate in during the day. I volunteered for the first shift, which was making blankets for homeless animals. The next shift was called “Leading Well,” as a way for students to learn about personal and professional wellness and how it impacts our ability to succeed. The next event, starting at 3 P.M., was called “Zoo to You” and allowed students to learn more about exotic animals and be able to interact with them. Lastly, the final event of the day was sunset yoga, for a 1 hour, outdoor yoga session (with instruction and guidance for beginners). This was the first Community Day for the Honors and Scholars college, so the supervisors were trying some new things and getting feedback from the students to see if they enjoyed themselves.
One of the girls in my sorority, Natalie, volunteered with me before we went to the spring game. When we arrived at the house, there were about 20 other students there to volunteer as well. We all signed in and were escorted to the kitchen for a small breakfast. The provided coffee and buckeye donuts for the volunteers. After a small breakfast, we began the blanket making. Each volunteer made about 1-2 blankets from a piece of fabric with small cuts on all the sides that would then be tied together. There were multiple designs and sizes for animals of all sizes as they were going to be donated to a shelter. Honestly, it was tedious work but I knew it was going toward a good cause and I got to meet some new people through the volunteering.
Even though this was an extremely small event, I still think it made a difference to the shelter and the dogs that the blankets were going to. It does not relate directly to international affairs on a global scale, but it does on a local scale for the city of Columbus. I grew up with animals and have volunteered multiple times at my local ASPCA. It absolutely breaks my heart seeing all the homeless animals in the cold and harsh weather, so I try to do whatever I can to help this cause. I genuinely enjoyed this event and I am going to try to stay connected to the organization in the future. As I become a more experienced volunteer, I have learned that is not about how large or publicized the volunteering event is, but about what you personally get from it and the impact it makes on the community.