As the fall semester here at Fontbonne is halfway through, I’ve finally had a chance to start my volunteer service at St. Mary’s Hospital. I have to admit, when I first started the process to become a volunteer I felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information and a little unsure whether I could do a good job or not. The hospital requires two up-to-date TB tests, a flu shot during flu season (they provide free flu shots to volunteers), a volunteer interview, an orientation day, and a commitment of 12 months. It seems like a lot, but once you get started everything goes fairly quickly.
On my first day of volunteering I didn’t know what to expect. I had a lot of questions, but the other volunteers there were able to answer most of my questions and also help guide me through the different processes. I also met a lot of new people that came to the hospital to visit their loved ones. I was able to walk them to their destinations and chat with them a little. Each visitor seemed relieved to have the small help of navigating the large building. The visitors also had unique stories to tell. Each interaction felt like small gift in time.
During your time at Fontbonne I would highly recommend taking the time to volunteer in the community, if not at St. Mary’s, then perhaps with an organization that sparks your interest. There are perks to volunteering, like being able to put it on your resume for a master’s program or an addition to some scholarship applications. I think, however, that being able to give your time for a good cause is a reward all on its own. Now get out there and do something good for your community!
Oh my gosh can you believe that this summer is almost here?! Though really we will still be in the season of spring until the ending of June, summer vacation is so close! I have been doing my best not to wish this semester away and get stuck by spring fever. So far I have been doing well, though on a day like today, what more could one ask for? I love planning summer vacation, with all of the possibilities ahead: road trips, having a summer job, or three at least in my case. I hope to have the time to go and visit some friends and family actually up north, since the snow has melted and warmer temperatures have arrived. This summer shall be a blast and my goal is to take each day one day at a time because really that is all I have in front of me. Sure I have seven more days as a sophomore within the semester, but with each of these days I can take one at a time as well.
As for my summer plans, really I have a lot planned in the end. I have at least 3 jobs in line that should span across the entire summer though each on different days that do not cause conflict with planning. Also, I shall be taking at least two classes at Meramec Community College, one online and the other one will be on campus at least once a week though for about three hours. I find that taking classes during the summer helps lighten my course load through the main semesters where I am a full-time student. This time around with taking a class online, I had one of my friends sign up with me who also needed to take a history class, so that way I will have someone else holding me accountable for doing homework. I shall do the same for my friend since I want what is best for her in return.
Along with having about three jobs and taking two classes at Meramec, I am pretty excited about volunteering with various organizations. For starters I am excited about going back to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and volunteering at least two days a week for a few hours, where I can spend time with patients and give of my time. Along with volunteering at Children’s Hospital, I anticipate returning to Springfield, Missouri to volunteer at two weekend retreats with a total of about 6,000+ teenagers and chaperones and youth ministers called Steubenville. This weekend can be just about the peak of any teenager’s summer, at least a teenager who is in love with their youth group and growing more as a person. Now that is not the exact criteria to attend such retreats, because I think that any teenager can really attend this retreat weekend and create new experiences. And last, I hope to return to a Vacation Bible School that I have volunteered at since I attended as a kid.
I cannot wait to plan road trips with friends, take an adventure and let the summer begin!
While attending Fontbonne University, I can honestly say that I love living in a city that has several volunteering opportunities at almost every corner you turn, not literally speaking though. Growing up, I was taught to give of my time and talents to those in need, whether that is through my church services or girl scout programs, service projects, hospital volunteering, my youth group events that would go on during high school years, and much more. No matter what the event or occasion was, there was something to better give of my time and talents as well as learn from those who I helped.
Starting with grade school, I can say that I contributed more than 300 service hours to my surrounding community and increased that number even more going into high school by more than 200 hours. Sure those are big numbers, but numbers do not matter to me, it is those lives that you touch that matter. Which moving on to my college days which are current, I volunteer still even though my schedule has become more busy more than I would ever imagine. During the summer I volunteer at a Vacation Bible School where I have volunteered every summer since I was in grade school and also attended the event myself as a little one. Also, I used to volunteer at week-long Girl Scout Camps, where I would aide any leaders in assistance or even lead my own group to be honest. Sure I endured the hot temperatures and had lots of fun though sadly I have not been able to help out in that area for a while. Lastly, I love volunteering at Children’s Hospital, adjacent to Forest Park and Barnes Jewish Hospital whenever possible. There I have one-on-one contact with patients where I assist them with having someone to play a game with, running an errand to go get their favorite games, find movies in which they may enjoy and much more. It is a rewarding experience each and every time. I love having the opportunity to help those in hospitals or any other area and be helped in return with no expectations. The purpose is to build relationships with those around me in the broader community. Make sure to give a little bit of time each and every year to help those in need, it does not have to be through donations or spending large amounts of money, though rather give of your time. Time is one of the most valuable things we have in life.
Volunteering at Fontbonne is one of the best ways to give back and a great opportunity to meet new people! This past Friday I was a volunteer for the All Alumni Reunion Party.
I arrived at 5:15pm, The Caf’ was looking really nice with decorations in gold and purple; and some special decorations in silver and black to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Class of 1989.
However, the decoration was not fully finished. I had the pleasure of lighting up the candles that adorned the room and then when the lights were dimmed The Caf’ looked like a completely different place.
I had the opportunity to meet several ladies that graduated many years ago, from the class of ’55 to the class of ’89 and many others. They were all happy to be back at Fontbonne, seeing each other and also seeing how different the university looks now.
I would like to encourage everyone to look for volunteer opportunities, there are many organizations on campus that need students for special events; andit is a rewarding experience!
Diversity week is this week and tons of activities have happened! We had a Fontbonne for Justice Event where the Fontbonne community was asked to wear a hoodie as a sign of support for justice for Trayvon Martin. Bollywood Dance lessons were given, and we did One Day Without Shoes for children around the world whose normal footwear was NO footwear. The most recent event was an Interfaith Student Panel to discuss the different religions that are right on our doorstep! More is still to come this week! We have a cookout, different discussion panels, and more. A blood drive was scheduled for this week, but is now April 25th! So don’t miss out on saving some lives with a small donation. This week, the event I participated in was One Day Without Shoes. Besides the dining hall (for sanitary reasons!), I walked around campus in my bare feet. I prefer no shoes, so the challenge was not too difficult. My toes were kind of cold in this crazy weather, but I definitely appreciate the fact that I have the option to wear shoes to protect my feet while others do not have a choice. Diversity week is an eye-opener to many students because it brings up multiple facts about life such as the poverty, discrimination, and different outlooks on life. Also, during this week and sometime after, numerous drives are happening. Fontbonne has a denim drive, diaper drive, and old clothing drive in preparation for Fontbonne Day, our day of service. I am excited because that means no school AND you get to participate in helping the community. I will be at the Open Door Sanctuary for animals, but tons of other volunteer opportunities are available that day and any day really. Volunteering is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and experience something that will help others. Keep all of this in mind when you are “bored.” Fontbonne is always posting something around campus for the community to partake in!
It’s easy to get caught up in yourself when you’re in college. I need to study for my test. I need to meet up with my friends to work on some homework. I need to grab some lunch before my class. I, I, I.
With all of the stresses of everyday life, it’s sometimes hard to remember to help out others and give back to the community. This past Saturday, I was honored to be among the Biological Sciences Organization’s members who played a game of soccer with a group of people from the ARC organization in Tilles Park. (For those of you who are unfamiliar, ARC is an organization that provides sports and other activities for people with physical and mental disabilities.)
For those of you who’ve read my past blogs, you’ll know that I’m probably one of the least athletic people out there. I’ve never before played an actual game of soccer. So when the opportunity to play soccer arose, I signed up cautiously and with a bit of intimidation. However, when we arrived at the park, the people from ARC were so welcoming and kind that I completely forgot all of my past inhibitions. I was truly happy to be there.
We started out with some warm ups, which included jumping jacks and running toward the big oak tree at the far end of the field. Then, we separated in to two teams, and the game began. My team lost, but it was still a great time.
This experience was definitely worthwhile. I was able to hang out with my friends, make some new friends, and give back to the great Saint Louis community. I strongly encourage anyone and everyone to check out ARC or to get involved with whatever it is that you’re passionate about. I can assure you that it will be totally worth your time and energy.