We asked CEVO staff the question “What is your most un-forgetful memory while volunteering?” Here are some of their answers!
Priscilla Heredia – Student Staff: I was heavily involved in volunteering in high school and have continued to make time to volunteer since my freshman year at EIU, but I will never forget the first time I took a step to help out the Charleston community. I signed up to volunteer at the Charleston Food Pantry on a Thursday from 5-7pm. When I first got to the food pantry, each and every one of us volunteers were quickly assigned a task since families were going to come in to pick up a box of food according to their family size. I had no idea what I was doing the first 10 minutes, but I quickly caught on and learned that these people had the opportunity pick up FREE food their families! This experience was un-forgetful to me because of the short amount of time I was able to be an extra hand while watch families leave the food pantry with a huge smile on their face. I felt like I took away a really valuable lesson from the moment I first stepped into the food pantry. I was helping those in need and felt a little more grateful leaving the food pantry for what I was given in my life and what others may take for granted. You never know how volunteering can really make an impact on you until you step out of your comfort zone, even if its just for two hours.
Bailey Wilson – Student Staff: I have been very active through the American Cancer Society all of my life and in high school I started my own annual Relay for Life event on my high school campus that still continues to this day. Of course I am not able to be doing it now that I am away at school, but thinking about the times I spent leading pep assemblies in front of the school school/community, or the hard work it took to put it together, or even the fact that it still is running now truly makes my heart happy. The most beneficial part about events like this is when my peers or community members who I barely know feel that they are able to come up to me and share their story to me of how my volunteer work made a difference in their life. These moments may be a couple seconds or a couple minutes, but they will last in my mind forever.
Gretchen Butterfield – Student Staff: One of my most unforgettable memories while volunteering is with Paradise Equestrian Therapy Center. Over the years, I’ve gone from volunteering with PET to being in charge of volunteers that come out to PET through the office. Being able to grow with the riders and see the development and changes over the last two and a half years has been indescribable
Kelsi Grubisich – CEVO Graduate Assistant: This is a very hard question for me to answer! I have spent a lot of time volunteering being a member of ESA as an undergrad and just loving to volunteer. I think my most memorable time volunteering would have to be the two Alternative Breaks trips I took as an undergrad. For Alternative Spring Break I went to Hendersonville, NC and worked with an environmental agency. For Alternative Winter Break I went to Seguin TX to work at a no-kill animal shelter. Not only did I make a huge difference in both organizations that I worked with, but I also met some amazing people on both of my trips. I would not change my Alternative Breaks experiences for the world!