Thursday, March 27, 2014

WWFF and Volunteering

In a school of 40,000+ students, it may be intimidating to find the right volunteering opportunity. From a personal perspective, I always had an idea of what kind of volunteering opportunities that interested me. However, with so many organizations on campus, I had a difficult time starting the search process as well as narrowing down the potential options. Similar to many other schools, there is always some kind of volunteering opportunity that somewhat aligns with a student's interests. If there is not that strict alignment, there is room to start one’s own organization.

The easiest place to start is by looking on your school’s organization page. Through filtering options and just doing own research, you are bound to find several volunteering clubs of interest. Through personal experiences and hearing other’s path, the most effective advice is just to go through the process. Figuring out what you like and what you don’t should not be a stressful process. Rather it should be a fun and engaging experience. Freshman who come into the university have this expectation that they are supposed to discover everything that works for them right away. It is through positive and negative experiences that help an individual discover where they are supposed to be. This process is throughout a college experience and never just a one-time decision made during freshman year. Most of the times the result is never expected/planned. The research and actually going through the process is something that should be a fun experience.

Some national organizations that are great volunteering opportunities for WWFF are listed below:

  • Dance Marathon: A nationwide movement raising money for Children’s Miracle Network hospital in their community. Students spend the school year holding different events to raise money that contributes to their end goal. The end goal is an extremely rewarding experience with a 12-40 hour-long event where the students stay on their feet to raise awareness of their goals and achievements.
  • Habitat for Humanity: A non-profit organization whose mission statement is that everyone deserves a safe and affordable home to live. They engage in projects to build and repair houses using volunteer labor and donations.
  • Best Buddies: An organization that pairs up people with disabilities with college students to form one-on-one friendships. Every month there is a chapter event and an individual event to further a deeper connection and understanding of each other.
  • Autism Speaks: Through campus and local awareness, students hold fundraising efforts to improve awareness of families and individuals affected by autism.
  • Divest and Invest: Students run efforts to expand awareness for clean energy solutions in everyday life.

Remember there is always an opportunity out there! If not, start your own!

-Sylvia Lorenzini

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