My Volunteering Experiences

By Claire Gault

While researching for this blog post, I came across a website called “GiveGab.” During my account creation, I chose the causes that most interested me (environment, international, and politics, if anyone’s curious). Searching for opportunities in these areas was easy and it gave me several choices, both on and off campus.

I decided to sign up as a volunteer for the annual Global Festival. This Sunday, November 13th, the Union is hosting a free celebration of culture and language. Events like these rely on volunteers, and I believe time donations often have more impact than giving money. If you come across a weekend without plans, please volunteer in some way! Helping others is one of the most gratifying experiences possible – feeling like you contributed to a great cause is reason enough to make volunteering a habit.Volunteering can offer connections, which can lead to a future job. Not to mention, volunteer hours look good on a resume.

A few years ago, I volunteered at a stream macro invertebrates monitoring event. I didn’t have any interest in macro invertebrates (and definitely didn’t know what they were), but I went anyway. The day was spent in waders on the banks of the Rogue River, scooping bugs into nets. I had an amazing time, met some of my closest friends, and was offered a job. All in one day! I recount this story not to brag about myself, but to prove that volunteering can actually lead to some awesome things. Over the next two years, my volunteer group members and I planted native wildflower gardens, educated others on sustainability, and removed a dam obstructing fish migration. Volunteer – for yourself, and for a greater purpose.

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