Three cheers for volunteers

Consider volunteering to change one person’s life

Lately, I’ve been having the recurring thought of my presence in this world actually having a purpose.

As I’m walking across campus to class in the mornings, with the cool winter air on my face and my peers around me, I can’t help but feel as if I am part of a statistic—just another college student here to earn a degree. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I can’t help but feel like I want to be doing something more.

In college, it is so important to be intentional with our time. We sometimes fall victim to spending all day on a Saturday in bed because we are “just relaxing.” Our busy class and work schedules, extracurricular activities, mountains of homework and social lives can prove to be exhausting after a while.

A lot of us do not want to spend extra hours that we could be watching Netflix volunteering. I think that volunteering has gained a negative connotation over the years, especially in a college setting. A lot of us view it as the number of hours we have to get done or working without the payment. And I can agree with you.

There’s a lot of other things I would rather be doing than raking a stranger’s leaves in the freezing cold or spending all day prepping food for a soup kitchen.

The volunteer life may not be glamorous but it is worth it. Becoming involved in volunteer work allows you to see a community in a completely different way. It allows you to become close to the people of the community, establishing solid relationships that help you grow as an individual. For example, volunteering at an assisted living or nursing home will allow you to form friendships with the residents and learn from what they have to say.

Our world needs more volunteers. Recently I’ve learned that the little things matter. I seem to idolize trips to foreign countries that work to rebuild homes and care for sick children. While this is a wonderful opportunity, it is not the only way to change the world.

We often miss that changing the world can start in our very own community. Maybe it’s something small like volunteering a few hours of your time to help a friend with calculus homework. Maybe it’s raking your neighbor’s leaves or watching your friend’s cat while they are away.

Big Rapids has many amazing organizations that are looking for volunteers, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and the American Red Cross. Go out and change the world.

Get to know Torch Lifestyles Reporter Holly Baker by clicking here