I know that many people say that they want to volunteer more and then they never actually do it. However, I have found one of my biggest pleasures in life is being able to help others.
It all started when my neighbor asked me if I would like to help out at Augusta’s second annual Harvest Festival. We had a 5K race and my best friend, Autumn, and I were in charge of directing the traffic so that it wouldn't be in the way of the runners. Granted, getting up at what felt like the crack of dawn (in reality, it was only 7:30am) felt like the most miserable idea to me at the time. I’m glad that I showed up and put on the fluorescent vest. We stood directing the traffic, as well as helping others get to the correct location. I was even able to meet some interesting people. However, my favorite part of the day was knowing that I was able to help some folks.
From then on, I have been a volunteering machine. I help out with the school and the community as much as I possibly can. I find it to be the best use of my time. At Washington High School I volunteer my time for Junior Optimist International. I am able to help make things and do fundraisers that assist children in the community. That club has really fulfilled my inner need to help. I have been able to assist with so many fundraisers that have not only impacted my life but impacted others because we were able to make a difference in their lives as well.
My favorite thing that I have done for the community was being dressed up as the Easter Bunny for a fundraiser that we put on. I was able to bring joy to little kids. Seeing the looks on their faces (through the thick fuzzy mask) made my entire week. I love being able to spend time getting to know new people and learning their stories.
Other times, doing volunteer work makes me sad. Especially when I am doing it for fundraisers that just break my heart. Every year, Junior Optimist collects money to buy bricks for the students that have passed away to be placed at the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden. While I still love knowing that I am helping those families with the grieving process, it is still really hard for me knowing that so many kids have passed away and more and more bricks keep being added.
However, I am able to power through the good and the bad of volunteering. I believe that through my volunteering, I have been able to put a smile on someone's face and that brings me the most joy and satisfaction that I could ever get out of life.