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Volunteering can really be a great experience. I get to meet people, experience different adventures and it gives me a good feeling to be able to help and be a useful member of the community. I can also say that volunteering breaks the monotony of an otherwise boring week; thus, it helps preserve my sanity.
I guess you might say that volunteering is in my blood. While living in New York, I was very active with the New York City National Multiple Sclerosis Society, where I started as an Event Captain.
My job was to help the day run smoothly, by adding an extra level of expertise. Not only did I learn what goes on behind the scenes, I also got the opportunity meet so many amazing people. As an Event Captain, I was in charge of the “Bike MS, Walk MS, and Climb to the Top events.” I was then asked to be a Chapter Ambassador to represent the Society and assist with the success of special events and programs.
My key responsibilities included providing on-site event day assistance with the coordination of set-up, breaking down of selected special events and programs, assisting with the check-in, and maintaining attendance records for members. Research states that volunteering delivers a feasible way to meet the basic human need and to care for people outside oneself (King, 2005). In such ways, this is exactly what I set out to accomplish.
I also volunteered for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), where I helped raise money for the cure by participating with the JDRF One Walk, The One Dream Gala, and the Hope Gala.
I spent my time alongside peers in the philanthropy and business communities. I also helped with the JDRF Galas; these are known for raising money to help with life-changing breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by this disease. The most exciting moment for me at one of these galas was when I had the opportunity to work side by side with Mary Tyler Moore. Moore lived with type 1 diabetes and raised awareness and funds for research to end the disease, as a passionate JDRF supporter and advocate.
I had the wonderful experience volunteering at the Brooklyn Public Library where I taught older adults how to read and learn the latest technology using the Mac computer. Most of my students were from other counties who came to the United States for a better life, many who did not know how to read or write. Older adults need the most help with instruction of newer technologies (Freddolino et al., 2010). This taught me patience and understanding for the elderly community. Overall, this experience helped develop my community service skills.
From the moment I walked on the UNLV campus, I knew that I wanted to be a part of its community and take advantage of everything it had to offer. I arrived here from Brooklyn, New York, to start a new life in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first thing on my agenda was to find a job at a place that would offer me various opportunities not only financially, but also intellectually. I started working at UNLV in November of 2005, and from that day, my life changed for the better. I immediately went out to see what UNLV had to offer, and what I found out was that there were many opportunities to volunteer for different organizations, both on and off campus.
My first opportunity to volunteer at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas was for The Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that raises and manages private funds for the benefit of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Their biggest event of the year is the UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner, which is held at the Bellagio Resort. For this event, my duties included making sure that all guest were directed to the correct ballroom and ensuring that every guest was seated at the correct table. The guest speaker for the 2017 event was Dr. Mae Jenison, an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut who was the first African-American woman to travel in space. I have also helped The Foundation with the “In the City: UNLV Foundation Suite Deal. This is an event with alumni and friends who support UNLV. Participating in community service often changes the student’s attitudes and their views of diversity (Yoon, 2011). I personally found that from these experiences, my perception about UNLV’s diverse community changed. It furthered my interest in service.
I have done volunteer work over the last twenty years. I feel it goes a long way towards helping to create a healthy community. The greatest gain of service is to enhance the wellbeing of others and the organization itself (MacIlvaine, W., Nelson, Lindsay, Stewart, Jeanette, & Stewart, William, 2014). At UNLV, there are students who need a helping hand. We have students who are homeless in our own backyard; I put together a school supply drive to provide them with notebooks, pens, paper and anything else to help them succeed and follow their dreams. That is why volunteering at UNLV is important. I am able to reach out to others, there are no financial rewards, but the joy I can bring to others is priceless. A suggested study suggests that the quality of service that is more important than the amount of service that is performed (Joseph B Berger & Jeff F. Milem, 2002). In all my efforts, I try to ensure that I am giving each service my full attention. This proves important when volunteering.
Other events that I have volunteered at UNLV include:
Along the way, I get to make friends and as a result of becoming more involved with other people, my self-confidence also increases. It is very satisfying that I can give others hope; a downtrodden person can be uplifted when they realize that there are people out there who care and are willing to give a hand. It helps brings back their faith, and it makes them aware that not everything is about money. My selfless acts of helping people provide me with a spiritual boost as well, knowing I did something good for someone or some cause is an emotionally uplifting experience that can never be matched by money or fame.
In the future, I would like to volunteer for the Red Cross Disaster Services Workforce. I find it interesting to learn how to provide relief to victims of disasters such as fires, floods, and hurricanes. I would also like to volunteer Habitat for Humanity Global Village, where I would get to travel abroad to more than 40 nations, meet people from around the world from different kinds of backgrounds, races, and religions. There are many opportunities in El Salvador to rebuild communities. I could also help build an affordable shelter in Mindoro, Philippines. These are just two of many opportunities that Habitat for Humanity Global Village has to offer. Having the ability to work with others toward real-world problems is another way to contribute to the welfare of the community” (Cruce, Ty M., & Moore, John V., III., 2012). From these opportunities, I have ability to venture from the comfort of my community and gain a better perspective on how to help others.
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