This semester I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in service learning both for Dunn Scholars as well as out of DSWS with other organizations that I am engaged in at Ohio State. With Dunn Scholars I participated in Buckeyethon, the 24 hour dance marathon that helps raise money for Nationwide Children’s hospital. I participated in the fundraising before the dance marathon, and raised about 500 dollars to help with the fight against pediatric cancer. I had 4 hours of service at the actual dance marathon that consisted of participating at rave hour and dancing with some of the children on our orange team in the silent disco. Buckeyethon was by far one of my favorite service opportunities for this semester and I hope to be able to participate in the entirety of the event next year. Through our volunteer efforts we raised over a million dollars for the kids going through cancer treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Another volunteer activity that I participated in was the Dunn Dash indoor triathlon. This was a 6 hour service At the triathlon we were split up into different groups to help with either the run, bike, or swim portions of the event. I was stationed with the bikes where we were in charge of cleaning off the equipment, recording miles completed, and cheering on the participants. It was our jobs to make the time that the participants were on the bikes more exciting since it was mostly a stationary event. I was able to meet and interact with so many new people and learn about them just by helping them through this part of the event. It was also beneficial to be able to help out with this event because of the Recreation Sports staff the were participating in the event that we interacted with. Getting to talk to them in a more personal environment made the department as a whole seem smaller and I have now been able to talk to them a few more times since then because of the relationship that we began to develop at this event. This was an important event because the money that we raised at this event is money that will go directly back in to Dunn Scholars to help fund programs int he future.
A majority of my service hours this semester came from the 18 hours that I volunteered for Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals. From being on the Club Powerlifting team I had the opportunity to help host the largest powerlifting meet ever as well compete against lifters from schools all across the nation. As a host for this meet there were many volunteer positions that needed to be filled to help but the meet on. The first day of the event consisted of 5 hours of unloading supplies, putting together equipment, and setting up the whole meet. The second day was 9 hours of athlete check-in. At athlete check-in we helped to check collegiate eligibility as well as check in athletes to give them their bags and name tags for the weekend. This was the most rewarding part of the weekend because at this station I was able to meet so many different athletes for diverse communities. The final day I checked in coaches and sold admissions tickets to spectators. For me volunteering was the most important part of the weekend because if it had not been for people volunteering their time and effort we would not have been able to put on such a large, successful meet.
Service learning general has taught me how important it is to get involved in my community to help others. If it were not for volunteers there are many events that would not be able to be put on. Service learning also helps to put an emphasis on putting others first because you never know how small acts of kindness and generosity can impact the larger community. Many people rely solely on other people because they are unable to provide for themselves for a whole host of reasons. For example, if it were not for philanthropies like Buckeyethon there would be many more children and families at Nationwide suffering and burdened by a cancer diagnosis. I have had people close to me go through the same thing and know what it is like to not know where to turn for relief. It is because of the selflessness of others that they are able to sleep soundly knowing that parts of their worry are being taken care of.