Volunteering is defined as giving up one's time to do something for others without expecting compensation.
On Feb. 7, I took nine fellow students to Juneau's homeless shelter, the Glory Hole, where we cooked and served dinner. It was a rewarding experience for all involved.
In talking with students afterwards, they seemed to have enjoyed the experience, helping those in need, and they were eager to help more. I really enjoyed seeing this excitement in my peers to help others. As college students, we have a lot to offer. We are receiving the most up-to-date education. We have lots of energy. Although we are sometimes short on time, we also have lots of passion when we put our minds to it. Just because we are in school doesn't mean we have to wait until we graduate to make a difference in the world. We can make a difference today. We can touch people's lives today.
John, one of the Glory Hole patrons, said that volunteering and simply giving up some time to help others is the greatest blessing that we as people can offer another human being. We were thanked numerous times for making dinner. The students learned respect, both for themselves and towards others. The patrons of the Glory Hole learned that college students care about their community.
There are many things out there in the community for college students to do to give a hand. Some organizations one can volunteer for in Juneau include: the Glory Hole, AWARE, REACH, Zach Gordon Youth Center and Juneau schools. Just about any social service organization will accept volunteers.
As a peer educator and promoter of health and wellness, I strongly advise you get out and volunteer in the community. It will enhance not only the lives of those you serve, but your life will be influenced for the better as well.