Monthly Archives: February 2013

(Sometimes) Two is Better than One

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A few months ago, my amazing husband and I volunteered with a local Reno club called Active 20-30. It was a team effort on our end as we had both been interested in getting involved with community projects. The volunteer project is called Children’s Shopping Spree. Money is raised by the Active 20-30’s club year-round to take underprivileged elementary kids shopping at Kohl’s to help them buy things that are most needed—shoes, coats, pants, socks, underwear, shirts, dresses. This event happens two times a year, once before children go back to school in the fall, and again before Christmas. We had the pleasure of being a part of the Christmas event.

This past Christmas of 2012, the club was able to raise enough money to allot $140 per child, and a total of 60 children attended the event. When the children arrived, the women volunteers were assigned to one or two female kids and the men assigned to male kids only. The event took about 3 hours in all and was a truly heartwarming experience. I love children, they are so adorable.

That was the first time that my husband and I have shared such an experience. I can honestly say I enjoyed his participation in an event that I was interested in and after we had left the event, we both talked about our time with the different children. From that moment on, I knew that my future volunteer projects would include him. I want to travel, volunteer abroad somewhere, and hope that my husband will join me.

If you are interested in volunteering, and perhaps want to share the experiences you have with someone close to you, don’t hesitate! Persuade your friends, your family, or your significant other to join you! There are so many opportunities in which couples can volunteer together. It’s a great way to overcome that shyness barrier some people have—perhaps having someone with you will make it that much easier.

Today, I encourage you to check out these websites, and learn about volunteering that is done in groups, by couples, friends, even family. It’ll be something you’ll never regret, because sometimes two is better than one.

http://www.globalvolunteers.org/serve/couples.asp

http://www.peacecorps.gov/resources/media/stories/couples/

Have a great week!

Don’t Shy Away!

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You’ll have to excuse my manners. I automatically began my posts, directed at you, without ever questioning whether you were even ready to volunteer or not.

I am an extroverted person, and sometimes forget that other people are introverted. But I wasn’t always like this—outgoing, participating in volunteer projects, creating relationships with classmates and co-workers, joining clubs. I used to be shy—terribly shy. My first few years at University were tough; I struggled to figure out the ways of college, had a hard time connecting with the girls in my dorm, and found it difficult to make friends with the other hundreds of freshman on campus.

I can’t honestly say at what moment I decided to stop isolating myself from the many chances offered to me on campus. I just know that here, today, I am a different girl. I am relatively quiet, at first, but as the time goes by, I open up more and more. Today, I am not shy. I am capable of creating relationships with others with ease, and because of that, I have taken the steps necessary to becoming a volunteer, whatever project it may be. And it has all been worth it.

So I ask you now, are you one of those many people out in the world who want to help, want to volunteer, want to create friendships with others, but can’t overcome your shyness? Do not let this be something that holds you back. Take the advice from someone who has personally almost let her introverted side take control.

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Volunteering is one of the best ways to overcome that shy personality trait many of us carry. It gives you the opportunity to break out of your shell and talk to others, who are probably just as shy and nervous about being social with others. The other good thing about volunteering is what it does for your mind and body—being physical is good for your health and social contact helps build up your self esteem.

However, there are numerous reasons why volunteering is good for you! So don’t let anything, especially shyness, interfere with a grand opportunity!

For more information on how and why volunteering helps you, visit this site:

http://www.helpguide.org/life/volunteer_opportunities_benefits_volunteering.htm

And read this blogger’s story, which talks about her experience of overcoming shyness and tips for volunteering practices:

http://shywriters.blogspot.com/2010/06/volunteering-way-introvert-kicks-sand.html

Thank you for all your support! Enjoy your week!

An Act of Kindness Has No Price

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My inspiration for volunteering came from a bundle of random incidents. Recently, these things have occurred more often, or more noticeably, than ever before. Just within a week, I have observed TWO acts of kindness from one stranger to another, one of which directly involved me. Needless to say, beauty dwells in all.

About a week ago, I was standing in line at a gas station, waiting to buy a few things. There were two people in front of me in line, and the first person at the counter was a homeless man trying to buy something to drink with the small amount of change he had. I was not paying attention to the conversation that took place with the cashier, but as he walked away, and the girl behind him approached the register, she raised her voice and said, “Hey, sir, come back, I’ll pay for your drink!” Seconds later, the man walked back to the register, standing next to the girl who was paying for his drink, and thanked her greatly, and was on his way.

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vencolibrary.org

All of this happened right in front of me, and for the first time, I had seen this happen. I have never experienced an occurrence like this before, though I have heard stories from others who have seen it. I instantly became overwhelmed with happiness. I watched the girl walk away, and that was that. I never saw her again, and I may never see her again, but I’ll always remember that day, and that moment in the gas station.

Directly after this, minutes later, I was approached by a young couple, walking to the gas station from the University. I was in the process of trying to open a 1 gallon gas tank because unluckily for me, I had just run out of gas at the top of Virgina and McCarran. As I struggled to open the tank, feeling embarrassed for being so irresponsible, this young couple approached, and I felt my cheeks instantly turn warm in the cold weather. The boy, noticing my struggles, asked me if I needed help, and they both stayed with me, until they opened the cap. It was a simple act of kindness, and I appreciated their help. I had tried so hard to look as though I wasn’t having a problem, and without hesitation, they helped me.

I was sincerely touched by the simple acts of kindness that I experienced this week. It was amazing that two very simple moments had impacted my life in such a way. It wasn’t exactly a volunteer project, but it shows that people are kind at heart, do care about others, and are inherently interested in helping the world.

The acts of kindness are still to come, and I will continue to observe and give recognition to those who create such beauty.

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Picture from forward.com

Have you ever experienced something like this? Please share your story here on my blog in the comment box! I would love to hear what other things you have been exposed to! Or if you’d rather, I encourage you all to do something nice for someone this week, not because I’m saying you should, but because you want to–and then share it here! Have a great week all!

Introducing: A Good Deed, Indeed

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Hello all and welcome to my blog! Join me as I begin my adventure into the world of blogging! The purpose of my blog is to share with others the importance of volunteering and how it can greatly impact the lives of others around you, as well as how it affects YOU as well.

If you’ve heard that volunteering is awful, boring, or uninteresting–you’ve been misinformed. If you have a passion for helping people, animals, the environment, or whatever else your heart desires, volunteer projects exist! You, yourself, can create your own volunteer project. If you strongly believe in making a change in something that you feel needs “improvement,” CREATE IT!

Are you one of those people who have not volunteered much, or never at all? Don’t worry. I was just like you a year ago. And let me tell you something, it is never too late to start! Every day, there is an opportunity to make a difference, somewhere, sometime. For those of you that have, you’ll understand when I say that the way you feel after being a part of a volunteer project, and you’ve walked away knowing it was a success, is a feeling that overcomes happiness and joy! Every person in this world is either directly, or indirectly affected by someone’s good deed. Good deeds go a long way!

Apart from the satisfaction volunteering can offer on a personal level, volunteering leads to a number of career opportunities. Some type of volunteer project you once did in the past could be the reason you now work at your dream job. The beauty about volunteering is that you are free to choose in which way you want to volunteer!

So join me, as I blog about my volunteer experiences, give advice on ways to volunteer, create new ways to volunteer, and connect with others who are just like me! I hope that with this blog, I am able to inspire you to help in a way that makes you feel good, and makes you a volunteer “pro.”