by Brianna Anderson
Today I chose to include a picture of the library in Garden Hills. The library in this school is fantastic—so much better than the one that I remember from my elementary years. If memory serves me correctly, my library was about the same size as the one in Garden Hills, but the books were in terrible shape. Reading is such an integral part of education that it only makes sense to keep a library in the best condition.
But I really don’t want to focus this post on the library of Garden Hills and how I feel reading has helped my student progress academically. I want to focus this post on what working in the community has done for me. And that you just can’t really capture in a photo.
I have had the opportunity to work with three different organizations during my time as a student in SPAN 232/332. My main placement was SOAR, as I’m sure has been made clear at this point. I have also volunteered several times with the Wesley Evening Food Pantry. They are often in need of Spanish speaking volunteers to help explain the process of selecting food items to guests, especially if it is their first time. The third organization that I worked with was the Refugee Center. I only worked with ECIRMAC once, at the fundraiser dinner that was held a few weeks back.
Although I was not very involved with ECIRMAC, I still could see the same characteristics in the volunteers and the attendees at that dinner that I did when I volunteered at the food pantry and every Wednesday when I walked into SOAR. All three of these organizations are so dependent on people who care. It’s not that I really doubted the presence of good-natured people on this campus or that I have absolutely no faith in mankind, but far too often the small things are forgotten, like how valuable a few words of encouragement or a helping hand can be. These volunteers serve as a reminder to everyone how much can be accomplished with just a little love.
On a college campus where some people spend more money at the bars in a weekend than they donate in an entire year and more time getting ready for class than volunteering, we all need to take a moment and really think about what’s really important. What will really have the greater impact—your outfit that Thursday night, or the conversation you have with a woman at the food pantry who is struggling to feed her family? Just think about it.