Have a Heart for Volunteering

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Sydney Summers
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Volunteering has always had a special place in my heart ever since I spent time at a domestic violence shelter. At my high school, we were required a minimum of 100 service hours to graduate and a required senior service project. When my senior year approached, I realized I had to find somewhere meaningful to volunteer to complete my service project. I wanted to find a place where I could truly make an impact. Through the random service opportunities that I did through my high school years, I didn’t feel like I was making a direct impact, even though I was “volunteering” and I enjoyed participating in these short-term opportunities. This all changed when I came across the local domestic violence shelter. I chose this location for my senior project because of my drive to make an impact, however little did I know, this opportunity would make an even greater impact on me.

After completing eight hours of training, I was placed in the children’s room (which is a part of the Domestic Violence shelter). Some of the children were living there, while some were there on short visits. The endless love these children had – despite it being a difficult time for their families – made my heart smile each time I visited. I looked forward each week to my time spent in the children’s room. We did a variety of activities together, including arts, crafts, video games or anything the children wanted to do.

Volunteering to me is such a special thing to do. It’s not only making an impact on the individual you give back to, but also making an impact on yourself. You learn a lot about yourself when you volunteer your time towards a cause. I learned a world of patience, compassion, love and kindness from these children. I remember on my last day volunteering at the children’s room, I sat there and thought to myself how grateful I was to be able to experience this love I got from volunteering. I wish people knew just how much of an impact volunteering brings to not only others’ lives, but also your own life. I hope everyone who volunteers, regardless of where they choose to volunteer, will find the happiness that I received from my time at the children’s place.


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