High school give one an abundance of opportunitie
You see, attending high school give one an abundance of opportunities to do many things, most of which are not volunteering. Volunteering, as neat as it sounds, is something that is usually not at the forefront of young people’s minds, especially when maneuvering through their high school career. But, with a little bit of a push from student organizations, nonprofits organizations, and caring individuals, volunteerism and community change can start to take a huge lead and become not just something that will look good on a resume or college application, but a priority and a learning experience for the young.
I did a considerate amount of community work during my summer break the year before last, and a few during the 2017 school semester. A few times I would go down to the church and help with the sorting and handing out of canned foods to the homeless. Seeing the ragged cloth and the look of [depression] printed onto the faces of the people I handed food to reminded me of the harsh realities of our society today, and the difficulty many people face in preserving their human dignity and self-worth.
Another meaningful experience that sticks out to me is when I would regularly visit the local Foster Center. I regularly volunteered at a children’s homeless shelter. for two years, and was reminded of the fact that the statistics we hear every day about homelessness are real people – not just numbers. Every child I played alongside, made a puzzle with, and created artwork for, reminded me that the largest percentage of people who are homeless is in fact, not the men people see on the street who are waiting in line for the soup kitchen, but families: Mothers, children of all ages, infants, and fathers.
One of the things I’ve learned from my volunteer experiences is that people are not powerless; as a matter of fact, we have a great deal of potential. I learned how empowering it is to realize how much fun you have in your own life and how beautiful it is to share that with others in hopes of them discovering it themselves.
I learned how giving human beings are, even when they don’t have much to give. I learned how one of the biggest equalizers of our society is storytelling and the sharing of self. We open countless doors of understanding, compassion, education, and empathy when we let the chaos and speed of the cityscape subside, and take time to actively listen and communicate with our community members. Our community is a diverse fabric of human beings, and we all have a voice in enacting change, improving the lives of our neighbors, and promoting a more just and verdant world.
The relationship between young people and nonprofits can be the start of a great change in the community and should be a very powerful educational experience. An open-minded and promising flow of communication between organizations and community members can be the launchpad for a social and environmental change. Together, we can make the change, not just a pretense of idealism, but reality, as well.
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