Why I Give: A Volunteer’s Perspective
I can remember the time when I realized exactly how much I was making a difference. The first time I volunteered was my first year in high school, and I had just learned that I needed to get sixty hours, a daunting number, of community service. I did some research online and the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City popped up. I found a weekly project that worked for me, and signed up immediately.
My first day of working with the children at Bethel Neighborhood Center was life-changing. Seeing the way the kids’ faces lit up when they saw the volunteers was exhilarating, and being able to interact, joke and help the kids was something I had never experienced before. I left Bethel that day with a smile the size of Mars on my face.
The next week, one of the kids came up to me and handed me a drawing. It was a drawing of me and her, holding hands, with the caption “Thank you for everything.” A realization hit me right then; I am making a difference in kids’ lives. Through just one small hour and a half out of my week, I put smiles on kids’ faces. I have now volunteered at Bethel for three years, and have expanded my volunteering throughout YVC. Although I’ve had so many wonderful experiences volunteering with YVC, the one I am most thankful for (and the one that kept me volunteering) was that very first day at Bethel.
Maddie Tolsdorf serves on the International Youth Advisory Board in addition to being a volunteer with YVC of Greater Kansas City. She has volunteered nearly 300 hours (and counting!) with YVC in the last two years.
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