Friday, May 25, 2007

Why did I choose to write about Volunteering?

I chose this topic because it is a big part of my life. It contains a lot of articles about what I do in the spare time that I have, and how big of an impact I have on someone else's life. I want to be able to share my experiences with others so that they can get a feel for what I do every summer. They can then take my experiences, and learn from them or decide to join in on the "fun" . I want to able to come to a place and write down my thoughts and feelings on what I do and the stresses that I have along the way. This blog helps me vent through my struggles and then some. Also, I like that fact that people can leave what they think on here and let me feed off of that for my next post. A lot of what I do involves volunteering. My job for example, is constantly doing fundraisers all year round for Operation Feed, Heart Walk, and plenty more organizations.

What made you chose this topic over anything else?

I chose this over anything else because it is a big deal. It is something that needs to be brought to the surface and people need to realize that with all the things in the world that has happened like hurricane Katrina and our war in Iraq, things are happening and people need help. Places and communities need rebuilt, so we need help. I just hope to open people's eyes to know that they don't just have to go to Katrina to volunteer. You can help your neighbor by carrying their groceries. It doesn't have to be complex.

What do you hope people learn from your writing?

In a way, I hope people get a sense of what volunteering is all about. I hope that people see what I have been through and know that it's not all about volunteering. It's about making a difference in someone else's life and also your own.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Is It Worth It?

Over the past couple of days, I've been busting my tail end trying to get things ready for our new project at the bank. It's called the Heart Walk, and we all walk as a team on Saturday @ 9:30am. We needed to raise money, but for some reason people just weren't as giving as they were for Operation Feed. Then I start to think to myself, is all this hard work really worth it sometimes? I do so much and sometimes get so under appreciated that I want to give up. Then I keep reminding myself that this is going to help others, so no matter what happens, I'm helping someone else.

In my last post, about the top three reasons you should volunteer, I started to analyze all three of those reasons and tried to apply it to my life. Yes, volunteering has shaped me as a person. I have a VERY different out look on life. Yes, helping others does change their lives. Without our help, they might not get the things they need to survive or take care of themselves. It does put things in to a different perspective for them, by letting them know they CAN make it. Yes, progess can begin. After you get the effect of helping someone out, it sort of starts a domino effect on others, making them want to help as well.

All in all, I feel that sometimes my work goes unnoticed and unappreciated, but I do feel that it's worth it in the long run. I know by the end of my work day, I will have helped out one extra person and saving them from the rest of their population of needy people.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Top Three Reasons YOU should Volunteer...

1-Shapes YOU as a person.
Helps you realize that giving a little of your time and help someone else goes a long way.

2-Helping Others Changes THEIR lives.
Others may not say they appreciate your help, but they do. Lending them a hand when you really don't need to makes them realize that not everyone is selfish and does want to help.

3-Progress Begins.
After you lend a hand, you can see the progress start to unfold. Many more organizations have started up to help people around the world. Organizations such as Group Workcamp, Habitat for Humanity, and others help those less fortunate around the world receive new houses, fixed up houses, and sometimes new belongings needed for the house.

I believe everyone should take into consideration what I wrote above. It's only because I've been through it, that I know the experiences and the accomplishments that could happen.

Until next time...:)

Operation Feed...continued

So I may be behind, but good reason has come with that. Being sick is a very hard thing to deal with on top of school work, that and a lousy internet service provider can do the trick. But this is not what this blog is about so I must contain myself.

Over the weekend, my bank and I ended up raising over $1000.00 for Operation Feed, and tons more food that anyone could ever imagine. ONLY this is, it's sad to know that even though we did raise alot of money, it's still not enough to get by for some people. All of our branches have been raising money, and so far we are the best but still, it's like I hate to see people in such desperate conditions.

This June coming up, I will be participating in a Big/Little Show hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters. As I have said before, I am a member of this organization and I have a little sister. She is probably the best thing ever to happen to me, and sometimes the worst. When I say worst, I don't mean by her part, but she makes me realize what it really means to want someone there for you and have someone there for you at all times. I always took that for granted and didn't really think about it. She brings out the best in me and I am so proud of myself because she has changed me as a person.

Well viewers.........more news to the STAY TUNED!!!!

A Whole New Perspective

After searching for what seemed like hours for a great article, I came across one that was probably the most touching story I have ever read in my life. Not only did it impact me emotionally, by making me almost break down in to tears because of the tragic accidents that happened, but also mentally, in realizing that there are people who really want to help out those less fortunate than them. It's a strong narrative about what the volunteers did in Salerno, Afghanistan, and what a tragic story that happened to two little Afghan sisters. The blog post's title was "Volunteers Spark Warmth at Burn Center" by Dale Coparanis.

An ear-popping explosion surround the burn unit, a sount that all the volunteers and crew knew too well. Once again a hearter had exploded in the home of two little Afghan sisters and their family. They were rushed inside the unit that had been set up in Salerno for about 2 months then. The explosion itself destroyed the Afghan sisters' family, house, amongst other things. Their other two siblings were killed, and their house had been destroyed.

"Many Afghans buy the wrong kind of fuel for their heaters, which they operate by using butane. They proceed to light the heater, causing it to explode in their faces," said Sultan Ahmad, an Afghan Cultural Specialist.

This article goes on to further explain the roles and duties of the volunteers and how wonderful they are to this clinic. The little girls will be ok, but in the long run, this will happen again. The volunteers know this because it is an ongoing occurrence that seems to be unaddressed. No one is letting these people know that they are harming themselves by using the fuel they do and so this kind of catastrophe will happen again. These volunteers basically run the unit, and they do so with some help of military personnel.

As Chief John Bailey stated they are the ones who usually pull people out of the fires instead of helping aid their wounds and taking care of the patients. He also goes on to say that his favorite part of the volunteering is not seeing the people come back because he knows they are better and going to survive.

I bleive that this article is very well written and explanatory. It talks about the volunteers and how they helped in such a way, that without them it would be impossible to operate the Burn Unit. The way they responded to the two little girls was amazing and how they worked so well together to get the tast accomplished amazes me. The volunteers do the bulk of the work and I commend them for that because it is a hard job that not everyone would take into consideration and risk their own lives everyday.

Previously, the article stated again how much work these volunteers really do, and I agree with him on this statement. The volunteers have to be prepared at all times know what to do for each and every victim or tragedy. I felt that it is very marvelous that these military personnel--Staff Sgt. Kristopher Weaver, Assistant Base Fire Chief John Bailey, Army Staff Sgt. Dusty Gaunt, and Staff Sgt. Ronald Payne, and volunteers--give up their days off to go help, rescue, and care for these victims.

I was suprised when I read this article because I didn't know how many people in the world viewed volunteering as I did, as a chance to show the world that we can stop for a second and help those less fortunate that us. I was suprised because I didn't think many Americans cared anymore. I agree with Dale, the author, when he talks about how great it is to have these people here because in a scenario such as this one, it is great to have all the help you can possibly get, and not everyone is subject to lending a hand when it comes to risking their own lives.

The article also talks about "teaching" being the main focus in their clinic. Staff Sgt. Payne stated that it was 70% if the entire mission. Without teaching, they wouldn't be able to accomplish as much work as they do. It gives them time to free themselves up and work in other areas that are needed and that they otherwise may have never had the chance to. I believe this is a great idea because not only are we now helping take care of victims, we are also teaching the doctors and patients how to care for themselves or others. We are sharing a piece of our medical knowledge with doctors from around the world, giving them a little insight on how to deal with such accidents.

In the end, I think that volunteers are a vital piece of everyday work. Withought them, we would not have the people helping in a time of crisis. Examples of these places that need volunteers include the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Homeless Shelters, and the list can go on. The truth is, without the help of volunteers, none of the above places would function, nor would we get alot of things accomplished.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Operation Feed

This month, my bank and I are heading this fundraiser for Operation Feed. It's to help donate food to those less fortunate of the basic needs to survive. So far we have raised of $2000, and we're still going. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for people to help and chip in and donate some food. Each bag only requires two items. Not a whole lot to give, but it's enough to help.

I recently went to the Salvation Army to see what all it was about. I've heard about it, even talked about it a couple of times, but have never been there. I hoped to gain a great, positive experience, but I don't know how you do just that when people are starving and have no where to go. Although it was a sad thing to see, it did help me realize that once I do start giving my time and effort for this operation feed, I will be helping as much as I possibly can. I hope that some day, world hunger will end everywhere, but people have to donate and help to make that happen.

Now I know American Idol is off the topic, but their past two shows have been titled "Idol Gives Back" and they have traveled all over the world to help hungry kids in Africa, who are dying from being HIV positive, and then to Kentucky to help those people in poverty, as well as those victims still not getting enough assistance from Katrina's disaster. But Idol set up a line for viewers to call where they could donate and got 70 million votes. After the first 50 million, a multi-billion dollar company donated 10 cents for every vote up to that amount, resulting in 5 million dollars. Now that may seem like alot, but it's just a start. There is poverty EVERYWHER and if we as a great nation don't start to realize that we have this problem right here in the United States, then we might not find an end to world hunger.

Just a thought for those of you who have never volunteered:
"It's not about wasting your time to do a task, it's about spending the quality time to get to know someone, and help them along the way, to make it easier upon them!"