The perks of being a volunteer


Juniors Chase Blackburn (left) and Mina Starks (right) demonstrate service with a smile.

Maria Cesarini, Opinions Editor

Most religiously-affiliated schools tend to require a certain number of hours of community service in order to pass a class. Bellarmine, for example, requires 10 hours for sophomore PE, as well as a community service class to be taken either junior or senior year. The point is to instill a desire to give back to the community. Unfortunately, many people view community service as simply a means to an end – a way to get an A in the class, or a gold star on a college application. It is often accompanied by dragging feet and muttered complaints, and after the requirement has been met, community service is never thought of again.

On the flip side, many people love serving the community and the sense of fulfillment it brings, yet due to busy schedules, never find the time to actually do anything. It is incredibly easy to get wrapped up in one’s own world and become bogged down with day to day exhaustions.

However, community service doesn’t have to be a planned out, hour-long ordeal. There are millions of ways to help out without it seeming like work. While becoming involved with community-oriented organizations such as the Food Bank is incredible, many people don’t have extra time in the day to commit to such causes. Easy acts like donating to this years Can the Man food drive or helping set up Phoenix Housing aren’t incredibly time-consuming and are a massive benefit to the community.

For those who want to do more, there are loads of organizations that specialize in volunteer work. Red Cross, for example, is mainly volunteer-run. Many major hospitals have some sort of volunteer program associated with Red Cross. At the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, programs such as the Summer Zoo Guides offer animal-lovers the opportunity to interact with the community about the animals or help out with camps. If a weekend can be spared, hospice organizations train volunteers to help interact and care for the sick and dying. A simple Google search would offer hundreds of more options and programs that people can get involved with.

So, Bellarmine, rather than sitting around this spring watching Netflix and “Law and Order” re-runs, get involved with a charity that you are passionate about. Helping those less fortunate is incredibly rewarding, not just to the recipients, but to the volunteers as well.