Volunteering is a way to gain experience in a wide variety of tasks while helping others. All of the volunteering I performed during this semester consisted of tasks I had never done before. These volunteer opportunities were all found in newsletters from various organizations on campus that advertise them. I was able to gain valuable knowledge that I could have never received from reading books or watching videos.
The Columbus Marathon is an annual event that helps raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I had known that there were marathons in Columbus, but I did not know that the Columbus Marathon had a deeper meaning. Whether you volunteer or run, it is a great opportunity to give back to the community. As a volunteer, I helped set-up, work, and tear-down the 17.3 mile water station, which totaled to be about 5 hours of work. Although it was a very frigid morning, it was a ton of fun creating layers of water and Gatorade cups, along with cheering on the runners while handing out the drinks.
The Neuroscience department at The Ohio State University hosted a talent show to collect non-perishable food items to support the Buckeye Food Alliance. This organization has a pantry on The Ohio State University campus, which is accessible to college students that can barely afford food. As a part of the department, I decided to volunteer my time and perform my old gymnastics routine as an act. I attended rehearsals, advertised the event, and performed, which totaled to be about 5 hours of work. I did donate some items myself, but my main contribution was providing my abilities to allow for a larger amount of donations. All of the donations were then taken to the organization to supply their pantry.
The Furniture Bank of Central Ohio helps turn used, donated furniture into useful items for individuals and families in need. As a volunteer, I helped take apart old college desks, so they could then be turned into side tables, which totaled to be about 5 hours of work. It takes a decent amount of time to just transform one desk, so my group and I were able to help accelerate the process for the workers.
These amazing opportunities have allowed me to see that I am braver than I believe I am. Being loud to cheer on runners, performing with a spotlight on me, and getting under spiderweb infested items are all things that I would not normally do. These experiences have helped me grow and gain confidence while helping others, which I believe will also help with my leadership skills. Because of service learning, I am constantly becoming a better person and meeting new, wonderful people, which makes me want to continue to explore the variety of volunteering opportunities available.
Links for more information about the organizations and how to get involved: