While I was an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to participate in my first service learning course. For my major, Family and Consumer Sciences, one of the courses I took was CFS 133S – Child and Family Crisis. This course examines how families react and adapt after going through a crisis. It broke down roles of the parental figures, children, and other members that can be affected by an event that alters the family dynamic.
I started donating blood when I was 17 years old. I started by going to the blood drive hosted by the Central California Blood Center at my high school, Edison. I would see their blood mobiles parked on campus and become curious. Thankfully, a teacher informed me that I could donate at 17, so I gave it a try and I was hooked. Instead of waiting for the Central California Blood Center to come to my campus I started to go to their facilities, donating as often as I could.
How do you typically search for local volunteer opportunities? The Richter Center sponsors three one-day service events throughout the year; two occur during the fall semester, while one occurs during the spring semester. On Saturday, April 29th, from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, the Richter Center will be hosting the annual “Spring Into Service”
Last semester, I was fortunate to participate in the fall event “Serving Fresno Day” at the Discovery Center. This location is dedicated to exposing the community to various aspects of science. Several students and I had the capacity to complete beautification
projects, by painting walls and planting flowers throughout the center. Additionally, we had the opportunity to tour the building and learn more about various species, ecological aspects, and physical components of science. As a science major, it was even more fascinating gaining fundamental information about science so that I can better comprehend, or explain, this material to others around.
For the April 29th “Spring Into Service” event, volunteers still have the opportunity to participate and select the Discovery Center, if they are interested in garnering more scientific concepts. Take advantage of this spring 2017 semester in order to help remodel and attract more visitors to attend the wondrous Discovery Center.
How will you spend the remainder of the semester? What leftover service opportunities do you want your clubs/organizations to take part in?
This year, from November 7-11, we celebrated Random Acts of Kindness week at Fresno State. The week consisted of spreading kindness and letting others know the significance of it. Our week initiated with the Wheel of Kindness. Students were able to spin the wheel to gain ideas on different ways they can help spread kindness around campus or among the community. The kindness acts on the wheel included: share a smile with a stranger, serve at the Bulldog Pantry, compliment a stranger, feed the hungry, and donate to a charity. Continue reading “Random Acts of Kindness Week 2016”
On Friday November 13, 2015 Richter Center Ambassadors tabled for World Kindness Day at Fresno State. The goal was to inform students about World Kindness Day and to encourage them to do an act of kindness for someone— someone they love or even a stranger. Suggestions ranged from feeding a vending machine, thanking someone, or volunteering time at an organization. These acts of kindness can certainly make someone’s day as well as be rewarding to the person who does them. There are endless possibilities on what you can do for others, and a plus is that most do not involve spending money.
Although there are certain days in the year in which kind acts are done on a large scale, I encourage you to do a random act of kindness whenever there is an opportunity to do so.
Will you act on Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, 2016?
Here I am in my fifth year of college, and I still remember my Dog Days. I remember the nerves and the feelings of going from high school to college. Stepping into a lecture hall for the first time and not recognizing any faces, making presentations and speeches when you do not like public speaking, all these things are now memories. Comparing myself back then to now, I can tell you there is a big difference. To me, personal development is the key and I found that through service.
Getting involved in college and becoming a Richter Center Ambassador was the best decision I ever made. I did not only receive a sense of belonging, but I received the opportunity to work doing something I love, work on my development, and improve and strengthen skills that will be beneficial in a life after college. To some extent, I consider myself a shy girl that loves to volunteer and learn. This may seem like a contradiction, but it is possible. Once you get out of your comfort zone, you open the doors to amazing experiences and the ability to grow.
As Ambassadors, we do different tabling events and presentations, so we are constantly talking to others. Could you imagine someone that is shy and did not like public speaking doing this? It might be difficult to imagine, and maybe possible to say it is a different person. However, it is not, because that person is me. Tabling events give me the opportunity to share with all of you about service, about our organization, but most importantly, it allows me to listen to your stories of service, to your different majors and to your interests. Without realizing it—until I think about it—this strengthens my interpersonal skills and listening skills. This makes it easier to interact with complete strangers in my classes. Now, I am that girl that will sit next to you and start a conversation. Through presentations, I improved my public speaking skills and confidence. So now I can tell you I rock my presentations in the classroom. This does not mean that I love public speaking, but I learned how to become better at it. Even though I still become nervous and may get butterflies in my stomach, I stand before a room of people.
Let me ask you a question, what kind of service have you done? How have you grown or developed as a person? This is something we do not think about when we do service. We give, but we do not realize that service transforms us. You have to reflect on what you do to see what the meaning behind it was, and how it affected you. Give yourself the opportunity to be transformed by service, and you might realize that you love it as much as I do.
The United States sets aside a day for giving thanks annually, and this Thursday families from all across the nation will be sitting around the dinner table to a turkey dinner in the spirit of giving thanks. Before you sit around the dinner table with family and friends this year, take the time to consider those who do not have the privilege of a home-cooked meal. You have the ability to provide them with a reason to be grateful. A simple gesture may brighten someone’s day. Perhaps you are unable to provide them a turkey dinner around the dinner table, but here is a recipe you can give:
- Prepare/purchase a meal for a homeless person (1 cup)
- Volunteer at a local church (1 teaspoon)
- Clean out your closet and donate unused items (4 oz)
- Write a thank you letter (1 gallon)
- Make blankets for the homeless (1 tablespoon)
- Donate food to local food banks (the more lbs the better)
- Dash of giving
- Pinch of thanks
*Add the ingredients to your own preference. The recipe above may not be entirely edible but is guaranteed to feed your soul.
What are you thankful for? How do you give back? What is your recipe? What other ingredients can we add to our recipe?
Ever since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of changing the world. However, I never understood how hard it would be to change the world by myself and that no matter how hard I tried to do something, changing the world would be something unrealistic. I started getting involved in community service in middle school and I enjoyed making a difference; the more I served the more I loved it. I was serving at Poverello House—a community benefit organization that serves meals to those that are homeless and hungry—when I realized the reason why I loved doing service.
During this service experience, I spent two hours cutting tomatoes. If you think about it, it does not sound like something fun to be doing or something that someone would love. The reason why this helped me realize why I loved doing community service was because I was contributing with a team to make someone’s day better. Someone was going to be able to have a meal for the day. This was the moment when I realized that the little girl’s dream was possible because I did not have to do something big to change the world since by doing small acts I was changing. Doing community service does not mean you have to do something extravagant to make it great and worth it because the power of volunteering has to do with making a difference. The difference is not only for the place or person you are doing your service for, the difference is also for you. Through community service you grow as a person, and perhaps service could give you a purpose like it did for me. Remember sometimes the smallest acts, to us, mean life changing experience to others.
Now that you know my story and why I love service, what does service mean to you? How has community service impacted your life or someone’s life?
– Ambassador Jazmin De La Torre
Brought to you by the Richter Center Ambassadors
Schedule of Festivities Celebrating Fresno State’s Random Acts of Kindness Week!
Monday, November 10, 2014 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Free Speech Area
Stop by the Richter Center Ambassador Random Acts of Kindness Table for kindness ideas and contribute to our thank you poster for local Veterans.
Veteran’s Day Parade
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 | 11:00 AM | Downtown Fresno
Celebrate and thank our Veteran’s for their service at the parade in downtown Fresno. (Learn more about the parade: http://www.fresnovdp.org/index.php)
Fishing for Kindness
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Free Speech Area
Stop by the Ambassador booth to “fish” for some kindness ideas. Vintage Days, USU Productions, and Alternative Spring Break will also be on-hand to share their ideas for spreading kindness.
Movie Night featuring The Ultimate Gift – A Life Experience Becomes a Gift
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM | McLane Hall 121
When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens inherits his grandfather’s crash course on life: 12 tasks-or gifts-designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways. The “course” sends Jason on a journey of self-discovery that forces him to reevaluate his priorities and determine what he thinks the most important things in life really are.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Free Speech Area
Celebrate World Kindness Day by visiting the Ambassador Random Acts of Kindness table to share your story of kindness and get a treat!
Friday, November 14, 2014 |12:00 PM – 12:50 PM | FFS 313
Guest speakers Dr. Nkosi, Dr. Levine, and Dr. Zografos will offer their thoughts and wisdom about kindness.
All week, we encourage you to participate in Random Acts of Kindness to help perpetuate a culture of kindness. Share your kindness stories with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/richtercenter or tweet @richtercenter using #RAKweek14 and #FresnoStateServes.