National Volunteer Week (NVW) is seriously under-rated. We see things like “National Chocolate Day” at the dining hall (chocolate pork…very poor decision making there), but where is the acclaim for the myriad of volunteers throughout our nation and on our own campus? I am so proud to be a Student Leader with the Richter Center in the drive to appreciate the students and faculty on our campus that give their time to support our community.
While I will agree that chocolate has been a dramatic step toward a better world (in my mind), I would have to argue that between the two, volunteers win out for the lasting impact they make. Now, when you put the two together, that is a force to be reckoned with (assuming the pork has been left at home). However, based on what I have seen as a Richter Center Ambassador, the greatest combination of all is service and learning, although adding chocolate never hurts.
Last year, for NVW, the Ambassadors recognized this combination with the first annual Service-Learning Showcase. I was proud to be a member of the founding committee. The showcase allows students that have taken a service-learning course to participate in a poster session where they can describe their service and what they learned from the experience. Last year, we heard from a variety of student groups, getting the showcase off to a wonderful start.
As our second showcase draws nearer, I am getting more and more excited. It is such a gratifying feeling to see something I had a hand in for our campus continue, and better yet, grow. Although the showcase is still a little ways off, I can’t wait to see what revelations and heartwarming experiences this one will hold.
Have you taken part in a meaningful service opportunity? If so, how do you talk about your volunteerism with others?