Students finding variety of ways to volunteer

For junior Shelby Hartwig, volunteering at Hansen Elementary school was not only an opportunity to help out younger students, but a way for her to gain skills necessary for life. “I volunteered at Hansen Elementary School grading papers, helping students write and read, and anything else a teacher needed me to do.” Hartwig said. She is not alone in her quest to assist others. CFHS students volunteer in a variety of ways throughout the community.

While Hartwig sees an opportunity to simply help out, junior Paul Pease sees his volunteering as an opportunity to give back to those who gave to him when he was a child. “I volunteer at Nazareth Lutheran Church in the Kidz Rock program. We teach them about the Bible, sing songs and play fun games with them,” Pease said. “I do this to help out the church I have grown up at, to give kids the opportunities I was given as a child to learn about God and because I enjoy connecting and having an impact with the children.”

While many high schoolers are focused on money when it comes to work, Hartwig and Pease both recognize that volunteering gives off something greater than money. “I think it’s a really good experience to work for someone or something when you aren’t always getting paid. It humbles you when you get to give back to the community,” Hartwig said. “It’s also good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. It also gives you a variety of skills that you can use later in life, like being comfortable in social situations as well as time management.”

Junior Abby Kobliska agreed with Hartwig on the benefits of volunteering. “I volunteer at World’s Window. I cashier and set out items on display,” Kobliska said. “I do it because it’s fun, and I’ve learned how to work in a store setting.”

Many universities nowadays like to see volunteer hours for prospective students, so finding something one enjoys and lending one’s time is something that aides not only the people that one is helping, but oneself as well.

Pease is not only able to lend his time and give back to his church, he is also able to be a role model for children he teaches. “The kids really connect with high schoolers and look up to them. They really enjoy their time with high schoolers and pay more attention to lessons when high schoolers are their leaders,” Pease said.

As for advice to those who are unsure or looking to volunteer in the community, Hartwig said it’s an easy commitment to make and one that can be enjoyed if planned and executed correctly. “If you are looking to volunteer somewhere, I would say to consider things you enjoy. For instance, I love being around kids, so volunteering in a school classroom or leading Sunday school groups on the weekends worked well for me,” Hartwig said.

In making the best of an experience, Pease said more is merrier. “If you are looking to volunteer, try and volunteer to do something you enjoy,” Pease said. “It also helps to have a friend volunteer with you and to get to know the people organizing what you are volunteering for.”

Kobliska also emphasised the effects that volunteering can have on your future. “I think high schoolers should volunteer to gain experience for upcoming jobs and to go do something that will help others,” Kobliska said. “Just try it. It may be more fun and interesting than it looks.”

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