Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Volunteer Experience Had the Deepest Impact on You?

By Ashley Jacobs on 20 May 2014 188 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Diane, Anna, and Susan for winning this week's contest!

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding — and frugal — ways to make a difference in community. And with nearly 65 million Americans reporting having volunteered last year, chances are you’ve made it a point to give of your time to support a worthy cause. From volunteering at a school or food bank to participating in a walk for charity, we want to hear what volunteer experience impacted you the most!

What volunteer experience had the deepest impact on you? What made it so impactful? Did you share the experience with someone else?

This week, to celebrate its annual Schwab Volunteer Week in which thousands of employees volunteer in communities nationwide, Charles Schwab is sponsoring $200 in prizes for our Ask the Readers giveaway! Make sure to tell us about the volunteer experience that had the deepest impact on you and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $150 or one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards!

Win a $150 Amazon Gift Card or 1 of 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Comment Entry for a Chance to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card!

To win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, May 26th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 26th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

This week, our Ask the Readers giveaway is sponsored by Charles Schwab to celebrate Schwab Volunteer Week!

Here is a message from our sponsor:

“Serving our communities is an important part of Schwab’s culture. Each year we provide paid time off for employees to volunteer, and we also organize a nationwide, week-long volunteer event called Schwab Volunteer Week (May 19-23, 2014), where thousands of employees volunteer with local nonprofits. This year’s event has a record number of participants, with more than 3,700 Schwabbies donating approximately 15,000 service hours to 258 projects benefiting nearly 200 charities.

We support a vibrant mix of national nonprofit groups such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill and The Salvation Army, as well as local schools, parks, food banks, cultural centers, and organizations that provide health and human services to women, children, families and seniors.

For the first time this year Schwab will pilot skills-based volunteering during Schwab Volunteer Week, The “Skills Marathon,” which will debut in both San Francisco and Denver, will consist of a half day of consulting in which teams of Schwab employees will help nonprofit organizations with business strategy, marketing, corporate communications, human resources and technology, giving them tangible advice and solutions for their real-world challenges.

Employee volunteer stories and photos will be posted throughout the week on the Schwab Talk blog. To learn more about what drives our commitment to investing in our communities during Schwab Volunteer Week and throughout the year, watch this video.”

© 2014 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC) All rights reserved

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Guest's picture
Stanley

I have volunteered at my community's annual blood drive a few times now. I myself could never donate because I absolutely hate needles, but volunteering still allows me to help this great cause. I have had many friends of friends who required emergency blood transfusions, so I know how important and crucial it can be to donate your blood. One day maybe I can get over my fear and donate myself.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

Needles are definitely my biggest fear! Kudos to you for finding ways to still participate in the blood drive!

Guest's picture
Sarah

Whenever a local or national election rolls around, I make sure to volunteer as a poll worker at my city's polling station. I can speak Mandarin as well, so I help translate some of the ballot information to Chinese voters who can't speak or understand English. I believe its important that everyone gets a chance to express their voice in matters of politics, especially because it has everything to do with the people. And language barriers shouldn't stop that from happening.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

So true, language barriers shouldn't stop people from being able to voice their opinions. Wonderful thing you are doing!

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Nancy

I recently volunteered at my child's science fair, and I was completely blown away by how many great and amazing ideas I saw at the science fair. I don't think I could ever come up with half the things I saw! I definitely plan on helping out at next year's fair and I believe more of the parents should come out to support the children as well!

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Tabathia B

The ronald mcdonald house because of my youngest daughter special needs and my family history, I can appreciate what is done for families who don't live in the immediate area or families who have children who need treatment, It can provide food, baths, snacks a place just to relax

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Linda Brooks

When I was 16 I was a candy striper at the hospital. I did
It for three months and learned a lit.

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Christine P

I volunteered by translating for doctors appointments for non-English speaking elderly people, and it felt great because I know it made their life easier and alleviated a lot of stress for them.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

That is awesome! It's always wonderful when you can make life easier for people.

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Pam

My most memorable volunteer experience was going to Miracle Ranch in Mexico with my 12 year old son and husband through Mariners Church. We brought the children food and clothes. While visiting we made and shared lunch with them, played games, and did crafts. The kids were loving and thankful. It was a wonderful experience.

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Nancy C.

I recently helped out with Schools of Hope in Manhattan, KS -- reading for 30 minutes weekly with at-risk K-3rd grade kids. It was so rewarding to see how just a little attention could mean so much to them. It was sobering & sad to see kids whose parents don't have the time, energy or interest to help their kids, for a wide variety of reasons. One little girl & her younger brother couldn't purchase any books at the school's annual book fair, so I was thrilled to be able to give them each a surprise gift of two books & a bookmark. Having raised a bright, successful early reader & having books be a HUGE part of our home, this experience will stay with me & make me want to get involved with other literacy projects.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

LOVE this Nancy! I'm sure the girl and boy you gave books to will never forget your generosity. So sweet! :)

Guest's picture
Ruby

One of the most memorable volunteer experiences I've ever had was fostering an adorable shepherd mix puppy until it could find a permanent home. It was so tough letting him go when a permanent home became available, but giving him the time he needed outside of a shelter to find a loving home was a wonderful experience!

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Monica

One year right before Christmas I went to a retirement home and played Christmas carols on the piano for the folks who lived there. The look of joy on their faces was something I will never forget and hearing them sing along to their favorite carols made the experience so much fun!

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Tom

I like to keep $5 gift cards to places like McDonalds or Wendys in my car so when I see a homeless person on a street corner asking for money, I can hand them a gift card and know they will be able to have at least one meal that day. It may not be volunteering, but it is helping someone in need!

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Brooke S.

When I was in college I volunteered a couple days a week in a 1st grade classroom. With class sizes getting so big, both the teacher and the kids were excited to have some extra help in the classroom. At the end of the school year, the kids put together a thank you book to show me their gratitude for my time helping them. It really made me feel like I had made a difference in their lives.

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Laura

Volunteering to do a river clean up in my hometown had a great impact on me. It was wonderful to see the community coming together to make where we live a cleaner place for both us and the wildlife.

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Jen K.

I once volunteered at a hospice and was with a lady with Alzheimer's and this was tough to deal with so I have respect for people suffering and having to take of the people going through such a terrible illness.

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Nicole N

I volunteered at my local animal shelter. I just wanted to pet, love and help feed/bathe all those animals that didn't have a forever home yet. I felt complete joy helping the shelter out, even if meant cleaning the litter boxes and dog kennels. I knew I was helping these homeless animals and it was wonderful to give them attention/interaction they craved. Once my little one gets older, I will go back to volunteering at the animal shelters send bring her with me to help too!

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April V.

I love volunteering but I'm painfully shy so I try to stay away from opportunities where I would need to interact with others. I'm much better at just plain physical work like sorting and packing (which I do at the local food bank) and cleaning and drying (at Clean the World where they repurpose used hotel soaps) or help with building or cleaning a home (with Home Builders) but my very favorite is always going to be helping out at the local animal shelter. I'd happily talk to and play with and feed dogs and cats all day long if I didn't have to work for a living!!

I can't say I've had one life-changing experience other than maybe the first time I volunteered. It is hard, especially for us shy people, to take that first step into the abyss. But now, I try to volunteer often. It is a good thing to do so good for your soul and takes you outside of your own mind for a bit, should you need it.

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Susan Smith

Volunteering at our local homeless shelter had the most impact on me.

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Haley G.

Having volunteered for a variety of causes over the years, the experience that impacted me the most from all of my experiences was volunteering for Make-A-Wish. Being one more set of hand’s that helped in planning, picking out music, building a life sized wooden castle, painting props, and blowing up and positioning balloons is not an easy feat to accomplish over 24 hours. At the time I remember wishing I could go home because it was simply too much work… working through the night when you’re not even getting paid was definitely a psychological barrier that I had to overcome when volunteering. The reward came when the Make-A-Wish child came through the door. Sarah walked in with her tiara, all 3 feet 4 inches of her, she smiled and lit up the room. Knowing that I got to help make someone’s last wish possible, something as sweet as being princess for the day, as was Sarah’s last wish-- it’s not an experience you ever forget.

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Jenny

When I was in high school I volunteered annually for the organization Planned Famine. It impacted me me in that it helped me to realize how lucky I and my family are to have to food to eat on a daily basis. Other families all over the world go hungry everyday. This opportunity allowed me to do something about that at least once a year.

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Sarah

I volunteer for the at Heal the Bay once in a while. While I don’t have as much time as I would like to contribute, when I do make it out, I remember why I do it and why it impacts me in the way it does. Whether you volunteer alone, with friends, or with strangers, by the end of the day your volunteer group has formed a community. You’ve all bonded in the best way possible, by making the world a little bit better with your own two hands.

Guest's picture
Darla

During high school I volunteered twice a week after school to help tutor my fellow classmates in math. I’d like to think this didn’t only impact me, which it did because I realized that I like to teach and as a byproduct I made some lasting friendships, but I would also like to believe that it impacted my school and my class’s improvement as a whole.

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Michele Baron

When my daughter was in grade school, I volunteered at her school library...I started out to get involved in her new school - we had just moved into the school district - and ended up loving the time I spent there...reading to children, suggesting books, helping them sound out the harder words...just loved it.

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JayHawk

Crisis help line provided important experiences in helping others.

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Darren

Volunteering once a month at the Local Boys and Girls club and helping kids improve in subjects like math and science has taught me the importance of contributing my time. When you make a difference in a person/ a child, it is my belief that the improvement will have a ripple effect. One improvement begets another.

Guest's picture
Guest

Volunteering at Love Inc. Burlington, WI while not working as a nurse impacted me by showing me how much I have to be grateful for in my everyday life. I worked with mentally handicapped persons whom I have become good friends with and pen-pals. There were people who volunteered with me that knew my family and tragedies that had befallen them and helped me understand this better. The Free Chiropractor they had was the only one to ever understand how a car accident affected my body and helped correct this. This volunteer experience impacted so many areas of my life in so many ways and helped me to see so many things in a new light. I go back often to visit those friends and am always welcomed with a smile and a new story.

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chau

volunteering at the free clinic!

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Heather

Volunteering at the local food bank on holidays and talking to those I normally walk by or dismiss made me realize the importance of contributing my time on non holidays. “You think you’re such a good person because you’re volunteering on Christmas? People don't’ stop being hungry just because it stops being Christmas.” Volunteering isn’t just good for the community. People don’t realize the insights you get and the wisdom that the people you are volunteering for can offer you.

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Megan

In junior high I started volunteering for my local community clean up group, Baldwin Park Beautiful. It was a requirement for all 8th graders moving on to high school to contribute a certan amount of hours, so we were all kind of forced. While I would spend my 2 hours of Saturday morning picking up empty soda cans, paper, plastic bottles and cigarrette buds I wold offen wonder what the park would look like if people took the time to walk over to the trash rather than discarding thing on the floor. This experience made a lifelong impact on me in that it made me a more conscientious adult. I always use the trash can and I think that impacts my community, even in a small way.

Guest's picture
David

I volunteer once a month as a docent at my local museum-- The Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena. At first it started out as a way to brush up on my art facts and test myself, but when I started seeing the effect that it had on the visiting school groups and the genuine interest in the student’s, I realized that not very many people are around to offer up quality knowledge and tught me the importance of donating my time. It’s become a regular activity for me.

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Elizabeth D.

While visiting my grandmother one night at the hospital a alzheimer’s patient confused me for her daughter. When I asked the nurse about it, this is the reply I got, “Oh, just ignore her. We’ve all told her that her daughter can’t visit her right now.” I decided to sit down and had a conversation with her. It wasn’t much but at the end of our time together I could that the woman was at peace. While a lot of us have families of our own to care for us when we are sick, there are many others who don’t have people to visit us at the hospital, to help carry trays, or take simply take a walk and our busy healthcare workers might not always have the time to tend to emotional needs being occupied in looking after more urgent matters. I now give 4 hours of my week at the local hospital helping in any small way that I can.

Guest's picture
Fred in AZ

I volunteer my services annually as a pretester in health fairs. While many of us take getting an eye exam for granted, some families simply don’t have the resources. Sight shouldn’t be a luxury. Living with a blind parent taught me that. Volunteering my services is a way for me to make the community aware of the importance of eye health and proper care.

Guest's picture
Guest

For five years I volunteered to work with dogs at our local animal shelter. I own three dogs, but still enjoyed working with such a wide variety of good dogs of different breeds. It's a great experience for anyone who loves animals.

Guest's picture
Denise Macias

I have volunteered in a number of my community organizations including my church, food bank, hospital and children's schools. My most impactful volunteering experience is making Prayer Quilts for the Prayers and Squares Quilt Ministry. A hand made prayer quilt can be given to someone experiencing an emotional, physical or spiritual needs. Heavy threads are woven into the quilt and then a community comes together and "ties" the prayers into the quilt. To date, I have made over forty quilts. Hundreds of people have tied prayers into the quilts. The most recent quilt I made was given to the son of our local mail lady. Christopher was in a horrific car accident. The prayer quilt brought our neighborhood together in prayer to support this young man and his family. We recruited people at our neighborhood BBQ, Bible Study and that we encountered to tie a knot and say a prayer. This ministry allows we to do something that I love, make quilts, and allows me to turn my own feelings of sadness, despair or hope into something tangible.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

Such a wonderful thing you do and a great way to bring people together in support of others.

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Carly D.

I worked with kids in a homeless shelter during the summer. It was so rewarding to take the kids on field trips, help them read, and do arts and crafts. They taught me so much!!

Guest's picture
Guest

volunteering near ground zero at a relief station near bowling green...this was November 2001, just a couple of months after the attack...i helped rescue workers with all sorts of food, dry socks, steel toed boots, etc...it was overwhelming and intense but historic.

Guest's picture
Kneisley

One Christmas, rather than spending the holiday in my usual way, I decided to spend it volunteering at a local Humane Society shelter. The experience was profound for me in several ways. First, I saw the selflessness of the people who were regular volunteers, and of those who made their career caring for these neglected, mistreated, or abandoned animals. Also, I saw what a need there was to share of one's time and heart in a meaningful way on one of the days that most honors selflessness and love. Finally, I learned to view volunteering as something not to be woven into my normal day-to-day schedule, but something that deserved as firm a place in my life as most any other undertaking.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

Such wonderful lessons you learned! Thank you for sharing those with us!

Guest's picture
Cassandra

I’m involved with kid’s camp, which is a program led by local Boys and Girls Clubs around the country. This is a program that allows low cost child care and academic assistance for parents who may not have the time or resources to look after their child’s academic improvement. I’m impacted by this on a daily basis when I see how surprised parents at their children’s improvement. A lot of the time parents who have a limited education themselves might not know how to help. That’s where I come in as well as the other volunteers who contribute their time to help run this program.

Guest's picture
Wendy

I volunteer my time to babysit for local youth parents who need a few hours a day to go to school. Being the sister of a young mom and seeing the struggle to make time for studies, to watch the baby and work, it left me wanting to help. My nephew needs his mom to go to school to create a better future for him, but it isn’t just my nephew who needs a better future. There are many young parents in our communities who need those extra hours. It is my belief that contributing my extra hours to help these parents create a better future for his/ her child will ultimately lead to a better future for society as a whole.

Guest's picture
Randy

I am a coach volunteer for one of my city’s youth basketball team’s. It’s a great experience to see the kid’s grow and improve throughout the season. It teaches them the importance of commitment and improvement through persistence and goal setting and it teaches me same by committing myself to continue to show up and help these kids grow.

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Lana R

Being able to volunteer for Toys for Tots and seeing the happiness that something as small as a jumprope brought to a child was more impactful and educational for me on the importance of giving of both material thing and of yourself. The look on the children’s faces is something that won’t soon be forgotten.

Guest's picture
Casey

I volunteered during Christmas for the East Valley Boys Club of La Puente. I had complete strangers walk up and donate presents for club member’s, money, services for the club. This was possibly the most impactful experience in my life because not only did I realize how easy it was to make a difference, but it also showed me how open total strangers can be and how giving people are when you’re leading by example.

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Jeannine s

Collecting food and other goods to deliver to the needy. The joy and tears when we gave them the packages was amazing. They were so happy for the littlest things.

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joe gersch

Volunteering by fosterign dogs has the most impact. Knowing that I am helping dogs start there way on a good life and away from neglect and abuse makes me feel good

Guest's picture
SerenityNow

Volunteering at a small hands-on kids' museum in my hometown during a college break was such a fulfilling and nostalgic experience for me. I didn't know it at the time, but it would lead me to a career in a similar setting a few years down the road!

Guest's picture
Laura J

The Volunteer experience that had the deepest imact on me was at an Autism camp! Autism is everywhere today, and this experience working at the camp for a summer really opened my eyes! The autistic children and adults have to much to give and are so smart! Touched my heart for life!

Guest's picture
Guest

My husband and I do after hours foster care for when dfcs is closed. We take calls in the middle of the night to take in children who have just been thru a horrible ordeal or simply taken from the only family they've ever known. We had a homeless child walking in the cold w his mentally ill mother barefoot on the side of I 75 on a cold Christmas night becuz she hallucinated someone was after them. We have since adopted two children that would have been sold into human trafficking. They have blessed me more than I could bless them.

Guest's picture
Eric Wilborn

One of my wife's former coworkers miscarried her twins earlier in life. She invited us to walk with her for March of Dimes/March for Babies and we try to walk with her every year that we're available. It means a lot to her and it feels great to support someone even if we're not directly connected at this point in time.

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Tina d Reynolds

For me it was volunteering for the local reading corp helping young children who had been struggling to learn to read catch up. It is an amazing thing to see and experience when someone really takes off reading it opens up the entire world.

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Sky Evans

For me, volunteering at the food bank was the most impactful. Cooking for those in need and serving them food really helped me connect with their situations. I will definitely be serving there again, and I really hope that they all have the best luck.

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Carmen

Volunteering to teach 3-4 year olds at our church was amazing as it showed me just how much those little minds actually know.

Guest's picture
Nina Evans

Volunteering at an animal shelter had the most impact on me. To see so many animals in need of homes and not enough potential adopters to take them all was really tough and taught me the importance of spay/neuter and networking to save as many as possible. So many dogs and cats get put down each year and it just doesn't have to be that way.

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Barbara in OR

Sadly my schedule doesn't allow me a lot of time to volunteer, but I do make it a point to participate in the Race for the Cure each year. It always stuns me to see how many people have either have/had, know someone with, or lost someone to breast cancer. It's such a poignant yet uplifting event and I hope that a cure is found soon.

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Wyatt

Helping with beach cleanups has been a volunteer experience I'll never forget. It is shocking to me how much trash shows up on our beaches. It's a reminder not to litter and to do your part to take care of the environment.

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Olivia

Volunteering at a soup kitchen really opened my eyes to how fortunate I am in my life. To be able to afford food and other basic necessities made me realize that even though my life not be perfect, I am blessed.

Guest's picture
Angela Ash

I live in Florida near tons of elderly. I have and continue to do things to help many of them out. I do things like yard work, basic home maintenance and fixing computers. I do them because I know they can't and don't have the funds to pay someone to. It makes me feel good to help but also it has ended up being a lot of fun and good exercise at times.

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Susan

I was a hospice volunteer and I stayed at a home so the sister, who was caring for her brother who had dementia, could buy groceries and have some time to get away. She had just washed her brothers' face and combed his hair and was getting ready to leave. I told him how handsome he looked. His face lit up and he had the biggest, most genuine smile I had ever seen. I am not sure who was more blessed by this simple compliment.

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Samantha

Mine would have to be working at a food shelter. I never realized we had a local one and that so many people were homeless. It made you really think about what you complain about in life.

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Amanda Sakovitz

Volunteering at a hospital in high school had the biggest impact on me. It helped me to realize what I wanted to do professionally.

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Sara C

Working at the local community kitchen that serves free dinners to anyone. It is such a simple thing to do, offering food, but being one of the basic needs for survival everyone benefits from a good, healthy meal. It was an easy job but really inspiring.

Guest's picture

So many things come to mind, but I think the one that mattered the most was teaching adults to read. It is something that you can see the progress weekly, and then, when something finally clicks with them it's amazing. You know they have taken away a lifelong skill that no one can take away from them.

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Adam

My wife and I volunteered at Midnight Mission one Thanksgiving. It was an experience that made us grateful for what we have and really brought us closer together.

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Becky in FL

I have volunteered at Red Cross blood drives a few times. It is uplifting to see people come out to donate. Many of them know people who have needed transfusions and hearing their stories as to why they come out to donate always touched my heart.

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Shannon Richards

My daughter loves cats but we can't have any since my husband is allergic, so she and I go to our local animal shelter and volunteer. It always brings a smile to my face watching her play with the cats and I know it brings her joy to know she is helping take care of them and keep them happy until they are able to find a home.

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Tammy

Volunteering at an orphanage in Peru was one of the most fulfilling times of my life.

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George in NM

Back in college I spent time one holiday break volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. It was an experience I will never forget and taught me to never take the fact that I have a roof over my head for granted.

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Kristin

Every year for Christmas my family adopts a family and provides funds for a Christmas dinner as well as buys toys/clothes for the kids in the family. It's a great way to help a family have the Christmas celebration everyone deserves to have.

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Aubrey N

I go to our local children's hospital and play games with the kids. To see such young lives negatively affected by disease is very sad, but I'm glad I'm able to go and spend time with them and remind them what it's like to just be a kid, play some games, and have fun.

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Cassandra

I really love to volunteer at a local women's shelter by my house. It is very rewarding to see the impact you have on the people you help. It isn't easy to be in their position and I love being able to bring light to their lives. More people should volunteer and take action. See for themselves.

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Tara

I've volunteered as a peer counselor at a 24 hour crisis hotline. Talking to people who had gone through anything from getting a bad diagnosis to the loss of a loved one gave me a whole new perspective on life and made me realize what the true definition of a "bad day" is. I now know not to sweat the small stuff not let things that are unimportant get me down.

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Veronica Roberts

I spend a couple hours each week volunteering in my son's 3rd grade classroom. Since kids aren't able to get a lot of individualized attention due to large class sizes, being able to have a slightly better adult to student ratio even if it is just for a few hours can really help both the kids as well as the teacher. I know most people have busy work schedules, but it would be awesome and so beneficial if more parents were able to help out in classrooms!

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Erica

Once a month I try to make it a point to send a letter to our deployed service members overseas through Operation Gratitude. These men and women have left behind their family and friends to put their lives on the line to fight for our freedom and they deserve to be thanked for their selflessness.

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Betsy Barnes

I had been raised to give back and help those in need in my community. My father and a few of his friends from church were getting prepared to open a shelter for homeless men in our small town. I had just gotten my first job out of college and wanted to volunteer, so I began to help set up the shelter, knocked on businesses to donate and did whatever was needed. One winter night, I went with my father to look for people out in the cold, to help then find a bed for the night, something he had done every winter. It was a very eye opening experience for me. I had no idea there were so many homeless in our town. My father was relentless too, he would not take no for an answer if they did not want to go. We had hot coffee and blankets for them and my dad knew all the places to search. We had been out for over four hours and we had found nine men, when I spotted a man in an ally. This man had no coat and was extremely intoxicated. My father sat next to him, talking and trying to convince the man to come with us, but he would not move. After we spent over two hours trying to get him in the car, my dad stood up, took of his brand new winter coat and put it on the man. He told him that he could keep the coat, his phone number was in the pocket and that we would go and get him some food. When we came back, we ate with the man. He still did not want to go. My dad hugged him, told him that we would be worried and we went home. I was so moved at my father's actions. I knew he cared about others, but I never saw him give the coat off his back. From that night, I wanted to be just like him and he has inspired me my whole life to give of myself. That very cold winter night, changed my life forever.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

Your father sounds like a wonderful man Betsy! :)

Guest's picture
Taylor Russell

I volunteered in my library's literacy program, helping a man try to pass the written driver's test. This was the most impactful on me due to the one-on-one nature and its ongoingness. We met every week for a number of months. And I really felt happy when he succeeded, whether it was something big or small.

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Stas

I volunteered in ESL class and helped people learn english. It was meaningful because I also had been in the students' position when I first came to the US.

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Brian E.

Thanks for the giveaway… I volunteer every Fall to help adults learn to read; a great experience when their efforts finally "click", and the students suddenly discover books, and new opportunities that they can bring.

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Kim Parrott

The most impactful volunteer experience I had was donating time to an assisted living facility/nursing home. The folks that live there have so much experience and wisdom to share and many of them have great senses of humor. It can be hard in a place like that to maintain presence of mind but I was humbled by the folks that went out of their way to make lives easier for their fellow residents. The generosity of spirit and camradarie was amazing.

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Sarah L

I volunteer with the Denver Botanic Gardens. We have a program called Winter Green where we take plants and a planting activity to assisted living facilities. I love seeing the participants interacting with the plants and hearing all the stories of the gardens they used to have. I love sharing my love of plants with people.

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Tasha Wilkerson

My family collects free samples throughout the year and at Christmas time, we fill up baggies with them and pass them out to the needy. Its a fun way to give back!

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Alexis

The volunteer experience that had the biggest impact on me was being a candy striper. It made me realize I wanted to be a nurse!

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Thomas Murphy

volunteering at a food bank had a big impact on me.

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Brenda Haines

I went to Honduras for my 21st birthday (12 years ago) and while I was enjoy the Caribbean, I met a group of young hungry children . I bought them each a meal from the hot dog cart and walked them home. I couldn't believe how much suffering was going on in such a beautiful place! So every day I was there I went and helped at the local church. There is no way to describe how I felt. I was very emotional and for a very good reason. I hope I can make it back there some day and help out more.