Volunteering: Not Just a Requirement

 Madalyn Blog

by Madalyn Orozco, Civil Engineering '21


 

I invite you to think beyond the “requirements” of volunteering and why you volunteer. Often, we become caught up with our own lives and volunteering becomes nothing more than a way to get hours to qualify for a grant or just to get extra credit in a class. An act of random kindness - whether to donate canned goods, work at a food pantry, make sandwiches for the homeless, or even helping at an event - will always result in a positive impact within the community.

When we decide to set aside our differences and come together to reach a common goal, the possibilities we can achieve are endless. There is no volunteering event idea that is impossible and there is no limit to the impact on the individuals we help. Most recently, I lead the Food Service Project and within one month we raised almost $600, collected over 700 hygienic items, about 50 canned goods, and collected over 400 food items in donations for the sandwich meals. At the end of our event, we donated 160 sandwich meals and 120 necessity bags to the Women and Children’s Shelter in Beaumont, TX. Although we did not meet the families who received these items, we were able to provide each of the individuals with two meals and a necessity bag. We do not know the extent of how much we were able to help each family, but we do know that we could provide them with a meal for the day and items that could help them at least for a month.

Next semester, our goal will be to serve 500 meals and help more people in need within the Beaumont community. This act of random kindness is just one of many that LU student organizations achieve each semester, and as we empower students to volunteer, we empower our community members. At times like these, with economic challenges, job losses, natural disaster damages, we can lead by example and help our neighbors think beyond the “requirements” of what it means to be a volunteer.