Students develop life skills, aid community through volunteerism

by Jennifer Jeske

Many college students can feel busy with homework, work, and relationships, so thinking about giving some free time to volunteer could seem impossible.

It is possible to become involved in local volunteer activities even if you already have a full plate.

Students can become involved with volunteerism for the reason that it gives them an opportunity to learn about what is going on in the community.

Whether it is at an elegant gala, or working hands-on with those in need, volunteering and donating time or money not only betters the community, but can also be personally rewarding. Photos courtesy of Ann Polunsky

Volunteering can also give students inspiration and connections into the career they are pursing. It can also provide them with an idea of a career they would like to pursue.

Students can network and make connections with people who could potentially give them a job.

There are many more reasons for the general public to offer their time to a service or undertaking within the community.

You can gain satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in the daily lives of others, provide hope and inspiration to others, learn new skills and of course find meaning in their own lives and grow as a person.

The feeling of connection with the community is important especially if friends and family are involved too.

Lionell Ball, a sophomore in engineering at Glendale Community College, has been involved with volunteer work.

He believes it is more important than students think it is to volunteer, and students should research to get involved.

More volunteers help build the community.

“Volunteering gives me a sense of self confidence. You have a chance to give back to the people that don’t have the funds to get things done in the community. It’s meaningful,” Ball said.

How much time people put into volunteering depends on how much they wish, even a couple hours a week can make a difference.

There are so many different ways to help: for a day, from home or committing to a long-term project.

Volunteer work can be things people are interested in personally, such as cooking, painting, mentoring, sewing or construction.

Students should select projects that are meaningful to them, and realize they are adding to the cause by helping in any kind of way needed.

Ann Polunsky is a grant writer and volunteer coordinator for Valley Life who encourages students to become involved.

Valley Life is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities. They do this by providing diversified programs which promote the highest standards.

Polunski has been involved in volunteerism for 46 years.

“[Volunteerism] makes [students] aware of the various causes and needs within the community and, that there are people less fortunate. It can be an exercise in gratefulness for our lives” Polunski said.

Some students may feel they have time to volunteer, but do not know where to go and who to contact.

Here are a few great organizations students can contact if they are interested in these experiences.

The Holidays are approaching soon; which means many organizations will need more people to volunteer.



Volunteering for a Greater Glendale

Community Volunteer Program

6829 North 58th Drive, Suite 100

Glendale, Arizona 85301

Phone: 623-930-2915



Search for volunteer opportunities by region, state, or community from the non-profit organizations Hands on Greater Phoenix and Volunteer Match.

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