Photo by Madeline Gingrich
Lounging by the pool, sleeping in until noon, sunsets at the beach: these are all things associated with summer. One thing that is not usually associated with summer is volunteering.
Over the summer, seniors Serena Cheng, Hallie Koslowski, junior Audra Pundt and sophomore Kobain Dundore volunteered at several events helping the community. These students contributed to activities benefitting locals in Lebanon and surrounding areas.
During the third week of August, Living Waters Church hosts a mission’s week to benefit the children in the community. They offer kids camps throughout the week and a movie night, all run by volunteers.
“Volunteering is something everyone should do,” said Dundore, who volunteered throughout the week and served food at the movie night. “After volunteering once or twice you get really into it and you feel like you can do everything.”
The children’s camp is an outreach for kids in pre-school through seventh grade. This is a low cost event for anyone in Lebanon and surrounding communities to attend.
“Helping out is meaningful to me for multiple reasons,” said Pundt, who volunteered with the kids over the course of this event. “I get to meet so many wonderful kids and play a small part in their lives. I get to influence them and change their lives in some way.”
Many of the children that attend this week of camp do not live with their parents or are in the foster care system.
At the end of the week there is a free movie night event for all ages, also run by the volunteers. The movie night offers food, contests, and many fun activities for the entire family at no cost to them.
“It’s great fun,” says Dundore. “The kids definitely have a lot of fun.”
Another event this summer was called Jay Day, a day dedicated to giving back to the community. Cheng and Koslowski volunteered with this event, which occurred at the Cornwall Family Dentistry.
“It was such a great experience to see so many kind people coming together who possessed the same goal,” said Cheng.
Cheng’s job was to greet people, direct people to their rooms and lead them to get their teeth screened.
“The amount of teamwork and passion was unbelievable,” says Cheng. “It’s not that often that you get to see that kind of energy.”
The volunteers spent much time talking to the patients. The overall goal of the volunteers was to make the patients feel welcome and comfortable.
“Volunteering is a chance to give back to the community, a chance to make a difference in other individuals’ lives, and most importantly a chance to gain new perspectives,” said Cheng. “I truly love to help others.
“It gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling inside – a warm, fuzzy feeling that you really can’t find anywhere else.”