Monday, March 12, 2012

Volunteering for the homeless: The stories that bring us

Volunteering to help out with the homeless is something that seems to come from a different place with each individual who lends their time. Some may have been directly affected by homelessness, whether it be a family member or friend of theirs that’s endured tough times. Some others simply volunteer their time because they want to help in society.  It’s worthwhile in realizing that not only are there great stories within a volunteer’s reason for giving time, but also sometimes within the items that are donated to the cause.

Personally, of the times I’ve volunteered throughout college and given some items in for the benefit of others, there was a great reasoning behind every one of them. Aside from just looking to fulfill and give back, a family experience had always been a prime reason why volunteering was so important, especially with the homeless and underprivileged.

 There can sometimes be no greater force in the process of volunteering than a personal or family experience. When something like this happens at a relatively young age, which it did for me, it can add perspective to the care free life of a teenager. In my family, it was a cousin who had encountered mistakes, allowing me to see that sometimes forces aren’t in your favor and that every bit of help can be crucial for those in need.

It’s also good to remember that there doesn’t need to be a personal experience to go on and have a great effect. The internet allows many of us to take in stories of homelessness and realize what help can add to some situations. A great example of this is with the recent CBS story done in the area, which went in depth with children and families who are without Orlando apartments and homes. Seeing some of these stories can put giving wheels into motion.

In 2011, we count our blessings that there are so many organizations that are dedicated to giving, with the homeless and underprivileged, as well as numerous others who have hindered opportunity. In the end, it’s crucial to remember the stories which bring the desire to give, as well as the stories that can be developed through volunteering. 

-Guest Blogger Meghan Preston

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