By Caitlyn Leathem
For as long as I can remember, I’ve participated in community service acts. I believe it’s essential to help the people around me to grow as a person.
These acts of service don’t have to be huge. They’re often pretty small. Giving an hour or so here or there is all it takes to improve the world. Can you think of a time, maybe when you were a child when someone came into your life and volunteered? Maybe it was at school or church. Maybe they read to you, tutored you, or taught you something entirely new. No matter what they did, you remember it. That person left an impact on you. Sure, it may not have been life-changing, but maybe it put a smile on your face or helped you through a hard time.
These “maybes” are what make community service worth the effort.
If they aren’t enough to motivate you, think of how helping others can help you. Not only is it a chance to improve your self-image, it also can increase your self-esteem, give you something new to do, and let you make new friends. Some of the best people I know are the ones I’ve met through serving the Chugiak/Eagle River community. I wouldn’t change any of the experiences I’ve had. Sometimes it’s rough, though. Sometimes people aren’t grateful, or they’re having a bad day. Or, sometimes you’re sweating in the sun or running around like crazy trying to help as many people as possible. It’s still worth it.
Volunteers that give their time no matter the conditions are what make community events possible as well as enjoyable.
So, where can you volunteer? Some of my favorite places to help are the Chugiak Senior Center and the events that they host, community fundraisers, and big events like Bear Paw. Resources for where you can volunteer are a search away on the Internet, Facebook, or flyers across town. Just keep your eyes and ears open! There’s almost always a place to volunteer. No matter your schedule, you can find a place and a time. I promise you it’s worth it! Happy volunteering!