Volunteer Experience

Volunteering is a fulfilling way to give something back to your community and/or the world. Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience, but the only volunteer for activities and events where you want to spend time on. Truthfully, I realized I really should do more volunteer work. Where would I volunteer? I always ask myself of the organizations and groups that interest me the most, and that is probably where I would spend my time.

Volunteering can make you feel good!
Volunteering can make you feel good!

High School Volunteer Experience

In high school, I participated in a group called Pioneer Girls at the local community church. I did not attend this church with my family, but I loved the opportunity to go to the youth group with my close friend. Those Wednesdays were so much fun because we rode the bus to her house, and hung out eating snacks and watching TV before her dad took us over to the church. In this youth group, we participated in the usual Bible studies, but we also made items for people in the community. We each crocheted a baby blanket for low-income families that gave birth to their first child at the local hospital. This was the first blanket I ever crocheted, and I remember my mom helping me to learn how to get the stitches just right.

Once a month we went to visit senior citizens at the hospital, which was a very rewarding experience. I truly enjoyed hearing their stories about growing up in the Great Depression, and I am glad I could bring a bit of company to these people. We also made items for them on special holidays, which was nice since many of them missed their loved ones being confined to the hospital. The most memorable experience I had there was trying to speak to a French woman, but my speaking skills were barely up to par at that time.

Singing carols for the senior citizen patients was also a heartwarming experience, and I remember how one lady offered us chocolate covered cherries, which are one of my favorites. The other girls pretended to like the chocolates so as they would not hurt the woman's feelings, so I ended up getting very sugared out because I ate about ten of these chocolates. I only went to this youth group for a few months out of my tenth-grade year, but I will always treasure the volunteer experiences that I had there.

Helping People World Round

Of my own volition, I have always believed in helping people world around when I can. Several of my pen pals from Africa truly touched my heart when I was in high school. I belonged to an international pen pal association where you would receive a list of people to write to, and your name would also be on a list sent out to other people. Several of my African pen pals truly touched my heart because of the ordeals they had to go through. If you are interested in having a pen pal from another country, I did write a hub on this topic awhile back. I sent a couple of my pen pals calculators because their parents could not afford to buy these. This may seem like a mundane thing to someone living in a western country where these can be purchased very cheaply, but for a couple of people I knew it was a critical tool they needed at school. My pen pal from Sierra Leone had watched her mom gunned down and lamented that the one joy in her life would be to have a calculator so she could do well in her classes. Some people may think I was naive, or she was just using me so she did not have to pay for it, but I definitely believe her story because no one would want to make up something like that.

When I could help a pen pal or anyone I was never above doing that. I believe if you have five extra dollars it does not hurt to donate it now and then. Just think of all the resources we have living in an industrialized nation, even in this dismal economy, and how many people are suffering all around the world. I am not saying go out and donate if you do not want to, but to me giving to people less fortunate than me is not a burden, and I actually feel good about myself when I can help someone.

The Conversation Partners

During college, I had a few volunteer experiences in my academic honor societies. We made gift baskets for children at the Ronald McDonald House. However, the most extensive volunteer experience I had was being a conversation partner with international students over at the extension center. Basically, I would hang out with them in the lounge and have conversations with them to help them with their English language skills. There were several women from Japan and one from Taiwan that I remember fondly. I also met some really nice men from Thailand, and everyone offered to show me around their country if I ever traveled to see any of them. Over the years I have lost contact with all these wonderful people, but I truly enjoyed being able to talk with them when I did.

One of the things I have enjoyed about Hubpages and other sites is being able to meet people from around the world. It is not exactly volunteer experience here, but I have helped a few friends with their English language skills by chatting with them online. When I think about volunteer experience I realize I should get out in the community and do more of it.

Comments 22 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a very enjoyable read. U know we all should volunteer to do things for others.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hello, hello,

Hey I just said hello! I know, I am being silly, but you are absolutely right about how we should all volunteer. I absolutely want to look into volunteering more.

Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 6 years ago

I read my fiction stories and talk about writing at senior citizen centers. I like doing it and the older people worked hard all of their lives and the deserve a little entertainment.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago

My high school also encouraged us to volunteer for various public service projects.

ocbill profile image

ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

I used to be invoved a lot with the thanksgiving dinners for the homeless until a lot of travel hurt that area of life. I have got to get back into that as there is nothing better than putting a grqcious smile on the face of a complete stranger who is in need.

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

The world needs more people like you, SweetiePie. These days I'm proud to be a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3350 in East Rockaway where we do a lot to help veterans. We send goodies to the troops in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan and offer camaraderie for members. Most satifying, however, is the "Day at the Races" we run periodically for veterans in wheelchairs from an area nursing home. Thanks for all you do.

Sharon Cowan 6 years ago

Great Hub. Voluntourism is a growing effort and at times a way to make you vacation tax deductable. Plus most of the large churches regarding of the area have mission trips that you can volunteer on. All a great way to give back to the less fortunate. We are so blessed in this country and really need to pass those blessings on to others. Not to mention how great it makes you feel. Research has shown that helping others is a way of dealing with minor depression.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


I think that is great you are using your talents to entertain, and to inspire writers of all ages.


I think it is great how many high schools do this. I hear some high schools have community service projects students must complete to graduate.


Just like you I want to volunteer more.


It sounds like you do quite a bit of volunteer work yourself. Sending care packages to the troops overseas is a good thing indeed. Back during the Gulf War I had a pen pal that I wrote to, but I lost contact with him. My mom made a care package for him, and he greatly appreciated it.


Those are all very good points. Thanks for sharing!

LeonJane profile image

LeonJane 6 years ago from Australia

Awesome hub SweetiePie, I think you would get more satisfaction from volunteering than from just donating money. At lest then you would see first hand what good your effort would be contributing to a cause.

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 6 years ago from USA

“Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.”~Sherry Anderson

“The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.”~Everett Mámor

I think this says it all!!! :o)

blsorg profile image

blsorg 6 years ago from Bethlehem, PA

Great hub! I also love volunteer work. When I was a child my mom would take me to help out at local churches and food banks. It was a great experience and I will definitely pass down the tradition to my future children!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Very good hub, indeed, and fine sentiments. Congratulations on this hub.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

Another feather for you for a great hub. I do volunteer work for our church. I join the choir, I coordinate bible services for grieving families in the wake of their dead loved ones, I conduct bible sharing among my Basic Ecclessial Community group, etc. All for free. It makes me feel fulfilled.

Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

The Priest from the church my parents attend brought a group of teenagers to my folks' house to sing Christmas carols during the holiday season. My parents took pictures and still talk about how nice that was. Simple acts of charity have a profound effect on the recipients.

Thanks again for a great hub.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


I actually like how anyone can volunteer, and yes you can see the impact more readily. If you cannot afford to donate to a charity, you can always spend time working in a soup kitchen, or tutoring kids.


Those are some great quotes.


I am glad your family sees volunteering as so important, and too bad not more families do not follow your example.


I always appreciate your supportive comments!


There is just something so magical about caroling. Once fourth grade choir class caroled around the neighborhood near our elementary school, and that was a phenomenal experience.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


It sounds as if your really give back to the community. Thanks for all that you do!

Sophieanne1213 profile image

Sophieanne1213 6 years ago

Hi, I love this hub. Thanks for spreading the word about volunteering. I've had various volunteer work mostly in the hospital because I used to work as a nurse. The feeling you get in volunteering is incomparable. It's nice to give. Thanks again. Great work!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for your lovely comments Sophie :).

Resolver2009 profile image

Resolver2009 6 years ago from Bournemouth, UK / Oslo, Norway

Great article SweetiePie, you seem like such a lovely person. Volunteering is a fantastic thing to do, and when you see the happiness return to someone's eyes (if only for the course of the meal), it is incredibly rewarding. By the way, just published the seventh episode of my thriller series; Three Minutes to Midnight, would love it if you checked it out. See you around! //Alex

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Thanks for the very nice comment.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago

Hi Sweetie,

I spent a year doing volunteer work for an animal shelter. They called it Pet Therapy. I was assigned to a nursing home, and once a month I would bring a kitten and puppy there.

It was very rewarding, as I got to hear their stories about their beloved pets and see the photos all over their rooms. It became emotionally draining when some of them wold beg me to let them keep the puppy or kitten. I kindly told them it was not possible, but that I was happy to come once a month to let them interact with the pets.

Nice hub and a nice reminder.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for your lovely comment Trish. Pet therapy is a very special thing to take part in.

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