Collectively, the staff in the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Office (CEVO) at Eastern Illinois University is the lifeforce that propels the office’s mission. This post is the second of the Meet the CEVO Staff series. This series is to introduce the staff’s stories about why volunteerism matters to them and how it’s made an impact on their experience at EIU.
Gretchen Butterfield is a Junior from Crystal Lake, IL double majoring in Foreign Languages and Pre-Occupational Therapy. Gretchen coordinates Eastern Illinois University’s volunteerism opportunities at the Paradise Equestrian Therapy Center.
I chose to get involved in the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Office because of my love for not only Eastern, but for Charleston. My definition of a volunteer is someone who is willing to pour out their time, attention, and energy for a communal cause. To me, volunteering is the opportunity to give back and contribute to the story of whichever organization I’m working with. I get the opportunity to learn about their work, be a part of their mission, and help build their legacy.Volunteering with the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Office is the perfect way to give back to our community. I believe that Eastern plays a pivotal role in giving back to the community that has already given so much to us. I’ve seen this manifest in the close bonds that students have formed with members of the community, and the community itself. In my own personal experiences with volunteering, I’ve come to find Charleston to be not just where I go to school, but my home and the community that I love. Because of those experiences, I identify as not only a Panther, but as a member of this incredible community.