Give a helping hand


With the country in economic distress, many people are looking to others for inspiration to help improve their livelihood.  Volunteering is one way people can encourage others. 


Volunteers can be positive role models that individuals look to for guidance and help. It is also a form of giving back to the community that provides people with hope and confidence that things will improve. 


“I love the feeling of helping people who can’t help themselves,” said Ameer Shaw, a second-year, political science student from Chicago. “The feeling that you are doing something that is pleasing to your creator is both rewarding and fulfilling.”


In underprivileged neighborhoods, some people don’t have positive people in their lives.  


While the media and entertainment industry glorify celebrities, there are fewer individuals in the public eye who inspire others.


Volunteers can be positive role models for people in disadvantaged communities. People are able to immulate other successful members of the community for a variety of career paths through volunteering.  


“If you are going to volunteer, go and do it to actually change,” said Ashley Halman, a third-year psychology student from Bartow, Fla., and former Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend employee. 


Volunteering has many perks, but it also has undesirable aspects. Some people think volunteering is just serving food to the homeless or teaching a child how to read, not realizing that it often means going to an undesirable neighborhood. 


There have been incidents of stealing and rowdy behavior, and some individuals in the community initially have tough exteriors with volunteers.  Volunteers must gain their trust and put themselves in the person’s shoes.


“Doing the Christmas baskets with my church was really fulfilling,” said Jasmine Louis, a fourth-year English student from Winter Park, Fla. “It was scary in a sense that the neighborhoods  we were delivering the baskets to weren’t always the safest, but you always felt good at the end.” 


Volunteering may not always be fun and games, but it’s a rewarding experience that  motivates people to progress. The volunteers, as well as community members, reap the rewards of volunteering.