Name: Emily Nicole Freeman
From: Dry Ridge, Kentucky
IS The Change You Want To See
People have always said “be the change you want to see in the world.”
Volunteering is that change. I have volunteered before, and I would
gladly do it again. I was a hospital gift shop cashier for about a
year and I was a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring
program for about a year. I will never forget how fun and enjoyable
these two jobs were to me, especially the mentoring program.
As a gift shop worker, I managed the gift shop, providing toys and flowers and
the likes to family and friends who were visiting their sick loved
ones. This gave me extreme enjoyment and ultimate satisfaction, but
it also gave me important life skills like how to manage money and
interact with people, especially in a courteous manner as associated
with customer service. When I was a big sister, I would spend about
an hour a week with an elementary school child. I would help him with
his homework and talk to him about his day and just try my best to be
a friend to him.
Oddly enough, the hardest challenge for volunteering, for me at least, was
stopping. I encountered some medical issues that forced me to be
unable to continue at the gift shop and my little brother from the
mentoring program moved away. While I really wanted to start
volunteering again after everything medically was settled, I had
turned fifteen and was able to get a paying job, which I needed so
that I could save up for a car and for college. And I am still
looking for the opportunity to volunteer again.
I believe that everyone should volunteer at some point, because it results in a
certain spark that makes you want to do something. Volunteering at
the hospital made me think I wanted to be a nurse, and working with
my mentee made me realize that I really wanted to teach. But other
than that, I believe volunteering at the animal shelter or your local
hospital or retirement home will make your life happier and those
that you help happier. And a generation of happy people is a
generation of peace. At least, that is what I hope.
I think my volunteering, especially the mentor ship, has made a difference.
Maybe not a large one, but a difference in at least one person. And I
would volunteer again in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t trade my time as a
volunteer for anything.