I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I volunteered to prune the lilies in the pond. The volunteer coordinator said we would wear waders. It sounded better than pulling weeds or shoveling dirt. As it turns out it was hard work and I got soaking wet and muddy despite the waders and gloves. They didn’t do a whole lot of good when you were waist deep in the pond, trying to pull up the stubborn rhizomes that grow under the mud. It was a lot of fun, though, and I have to admit that I was more than a little excited when I finally managed to pull out the first of many rhizomes.
How did I get myself into this mess? I took 32 international students to the Student Conservation Associations Find Your Park 9-11 Day of Service at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. (Question: Is it really called volunteering if I’m required to do it for my job?) As part of the Community College Initiative Program, my students are required to complete 125 hours of volunteer work during their 10 month stay in the United States. To help them, we sign up for a few group projects throughout the year. Admittedly, the introverted me doesn’t look forward to going, but then I end up enjoying myself. It’s fun to meet the other volunteers and it’s a good feeling to know that I’m giving back to my community.
I recently created a blog for my students where they can share about their experiences. One student, Naik, wrote about volunteering here in the U.S. and in his home country of Pakistan. He wrote, “Volunteering is the best way to find people from different social backgrounds, cultures, food, experiences and ideas and only through mutual understanding we can bring peace in the world.” Well said Naik. I couldn’t say it any better.
via Daily Prompt: Volunteer