Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteers Make the World Go Around

Name: Danielle Ledyard
From: Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Grade: High School Senior
School: Home School
Votes: 26



Make the World Go Around

Volunteers are at the roots of every big
campaign, project, and business.
offer themselves and their time for no physical reward, in order to
help a cause that they believe will make the world a better place.

In the past few years I’ve
spent over 200 hours as a volunteer. Time is invaluable. If one
kind, heartfelt word can help change someone’s life, imagine what
just one hour of your time can do. Since I am a full time
student-athlete, my greatest challenge to volunteering has been
finding the time. Although being a swimmer takes up almost 24 hours
of every week, it has provided me with opportunities to touch the
lives of younger swimmers. Over the years I have volunteered at
middle school meets, coached at a starts and turns clinic, and
participated in a swim-a-thon to raise money for a memorial
scholarship. I know how much it meant to me as a younger swimmer to
have high school athletes give me advice. I hope I’ve had the same
impact on some of the swimmers I’ve been able to cheer on and

Although swimming has been one
avenue to donate my time, the majority of my volunteer work has been
through my church. During the past six years, I’ve volunteered in
my church’s nursery to take care of children three years old and
younger on Sunday mornings so that their parents can attend service
in peace. I’ve volunteered at vacation bible school a few years
and intend to volunteer again this summer. My duty was to assist the
kids with crafts and help make snacks when needed. My church also
ran week long ‘live action’ marketplaces. In these marketplaces
visitors could trade fake coins for little trinkets or craft
projects. In the Egyptian marketplace I worked in a basket weaving
shop and in Nazareth I ran my own shop where visitors could make
felted soaps. Each night for both Egypt and Nazareth we would arrive
several hours early to set up. Before Egypt I spent hours pre-making
the bases for hundreds of baskets. Through my church I’ve also
waitressed at a pancake breakfast to raise money for a missions trip
to Haiti; collected coats for the One Warm Coat drive, which gives
warm winter coats to the less fortunate; and worked registration for
the local Bible Bee. Lastly I’ve gone door to door to pass out
fliers and take surveys for a political candidate.

By volunteering I found
satisfaction and joy in serving others. What I’ve been able to do
in high school was not required of me and is just a start. By
volunteering I hope I have and will make the world a better place.
The world is changed one person at a time; and as the world goes
around volunteers make sure that with every turn it’s a better
place than the day before.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".