Have a Heart for Volunteering
Volunteering has always had a special place in my heart ever since I spent time at a domestic violence shelter. At my high school, we were required a minimum of 100 service hours to graduate and a required senior service project. When my senior year approached, I realized I had to find somewhere meaningful to volunteer to complete my service project. I wanted to find a place where I could truly make an impact. Through the random service opportunities that I did through my high school years, I didn’t feel like I was making a direct impact, even though I was “volunteering” and I enjoyed participating in these short-term opportunities. This all changed when I came across the local domestic violence shelter. I chose this location for my senior project because of my drive to make an impact, however little did I know, this opportunity would make an even greater impact on me.
After completing eight hours of training, I was placed in the children’s room (which is a part of the Domestic Violence shelter). Some of the children were living there, while some were there on short visits. The endless love these children had – despite it being a difficult time for their families – made my heart smile each time I visited. I looked forward each week to my time spent in the children’s room. We did a variety of activities together, including arts, crafts, video games or anything the children wanted to do.
Volunteering to me is such a special thing to do. It’s not only making an impact on the individual you give back to, but also making an impact on yourself. You learn a lot about yourself when you volunteer your time towards a cause. I learned a world of patience, compassion, love and kindness from these children. I remember on my last day volunteering at the children’s room, I sat there and thought to myself how grateful I was to be able to experience this love I got from volunteering. I wish people knew just how much of an impact volunteering brings to not only others’ lives, but also your own life. I hope everyone who volunteers, regardless of where they choose to volunteer, will find the happiness that I received from my time at the children’s place.
Sydney Summers is a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in Communications. She is also the Pearson Campus Ambassador at University of Kansas. She is involved in the Student Senate and she enjoys hanging out with friends. In her free time, Sydney runs a food Instagram with over 20,000 followers – @sydandmadeats. Her favorite snack in the entire world is chips and guacamole!
Sydney is a Pearson Student Insider. To learn more about the program and apply, click here.