By Ella Gentz
April is National Volunteer month and students may be wondering how to get involved in their communities.
“Getting involved with a club cannot only widen your circle of friends but also your sense of purpose in the community,” said Wilson, an organizer from Chicago Fun Volunteers.
Volunteering can create both physical and emotional benefits to your body and mind, according to studies by Harvard and University of California at Berkeley.
“Part of the reason for going to school here in the loop is for the clubs, the interactions between students,” said Ali Kleiche, who said that he is an advocate for the student experience.
“If we didn’t have the interactions and community, then why not just take online classes?” said Kleiche.
STEM club organizes study groups for test preparation. They also take field trips to museums in the Chicago area for cultural immersion and an informal learning enviornment. They will also participate in an Earth Day event with Friends of the Park April 22. They plan to clean up parks in time for summer. This event is open to all students interested in joining.
Volunteering can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose, according to several studies. It can connect you with the community, make new friends or work relationships, open doors to new careers and advancement. Volunteering may also give you opportunities to hone your leadership and teamwork skills.
“Whatever the reason, volunteering has many benefits. You are supporting worthwhile causes and organizations that are invested in the community. You can be the hero and save the day by helping an organization or person that couldn’t have achieved their goals without your help. You are making good use of your life skills or adding to your skill set when you learn something new to help a person,” said a volunteer from Chicago Fun Volunteers.
As things start to unthaw from the proposed budget freeze we are starting to see the trickle down effect of things starting to change at Community Colleges. It’s affecting not only the clubs but the members, our school experience, and the community as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics only one in four people are involved with volunteering in their communities as reported in 2015.
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope,” said Barack Obama.
“Find what you love and don’t be so consumed with mass media,” said Ali Kaleich with words of advice for people who are interested in volunteering.
“I have full confidence that there will be a positive return on your time and energy invested in your volunteer projects. Past performance is absolute proof of future results. If you do good things for people, good things happen in the community and for you who lives in that same community. It is that simple. Do more good, better things happen,” said Wilson, an organizer from chicago fun Volunteers.