On November 17th, I participated in my Scholars program’s Day of Service. There were three groups that got dispersed throughout Columbus. I volunteered four hours at the Columbus Furniture Bank. The Columbus Furniture Bank is a nonprofit organization that accepts donated furniture. They then take this furniture apart and use the pieces to make smaller furniture that will be given to families in need who can’t afford new furniture or don’t have the room for the large pieces that were donated. The bank will also send some of the nicer pieces of large furniture to their auction house where families who have the room, can purchase the furniture for a reduced price. During my time volunteering, I took apart college dorm room desks that were donated by Miami Univerisy to turn into smaller bed side stands. This service impacted nearly 3,500 families, providing warm, comfort-filled homes. I have learned that there are many ways to help those in need, especially by donating unused furniture. Before volunteering at the furniture bank, I never realized the impact that an old wardrobe or desk could have on a family. I feel that volunteering at the furniture bank has allowed me to develop my communication skills as a leader seeing that I had to communicate with others on how to take the desks apart properly and which drill to use. This also aloud me to gain a sense of common purpose because there were only so many drills to share but we all had the same end goal which reminded me to be patient. Because of service learning, I am more aware of the big impact such small acts can have on a person or community. I am more aware of who I am as a person and what type of leader I am when introduced into a group situation where everyone has the same task.
On October 4th, I volunteered three hours packaging meals for families in need throughout Columbus through an organization called Kind Columbus. Kind Columbus is an organization in Columbus, Ohio that wishes to build community through unconditional acts of kindness. One of their many projects is Feed the Funnel, a project in which volunteers come together to package 100,000 meals in two hours. Each station has its own task whether it is measuring the amount of contents that go into the package, weighing the overall weight and adding rice to meet the specified weight, sealing the packages close, or packing them away into boxes to be shipped off. My task for the duration of the project was sealing the packages close and double checking that every inch of the bag was closed. This project impacted the many lives of those in need around Columbus, and my participation allowed even more packages to be sealed and shipped off to those in need. I learned that no matter the time or day, everyone has been in a spot in which they needed help in some way and for some of us, food is one of the most inaccessible commodities. After participating in this project, I learned that I just love to serve. I love to help and leave an impact on as many people as I can. This has impacted me as a leader because a leader should be selfless and put others before their own needs. I learned this because this project was from ten o’clock at night until one o’clock in the morning and instead of staying up until one o’clock watching television, I put the needs of others before mine and helped be one of the many individuals that packaged over 100,000 meals. Because of service learning I am educated on the rate at which food is inaccessible and ways that I can help feed those who are in need.
On Saturday, August 29th, I volunteered three hours at Indianola Informal K-8 School helping mulch and pick weeds in their environmentally friendly garden. This service project was just one of many involved in Ohio State University’s Community Committment. This is Ohio State’s biggest community service project that attracts around one thousand students every year to be dispersed to different sites throughout Columbus to offer their services. Indianola teaches grades kindergarten through eight, educating them on the positives of growing your own foods, recycling, and having compost. During my visit, I helped pick weeds that were crowding the garden, laid much, and even harvested some vegetables that were ready for picking. This gave the graden a more open and clean look, while allowing it to flourish and thrive seeing that all the weeds were gone. This project really hit home for me. In middle school, I wanted to create a compost garden to recycle all the left over food but was very uneducated on all the different aspects that went into starting and maintaining such a project. Through volunteering at this site, I learned how to start, maintain, and all the political aspects that surround creating such a garden. I also learned that their are many more ways to benefit the Earth than just recycling. Volunteering has showed me that to be a leader, you don’t have to have direct contact with those you are helping or impacting, but that your intentions will remain clear regardless of whether they were spoken or wrote down. Because of service learning I am more educated on the impact just one person can have on the Earth and how to create positive impacts in my every day life.