My name is Kate. When I was in eighth grade, I was part of a soccer team that used our fundraising money to build a soccer field at Sagamore Village for the Boys and Girls Club. When I saw the kid’s love for soccer and the joy on their faces, I knew I would want to volunteer more in the future. Since building the field, I have volunteered at the Club helping with homework and playing sports. I have been able to make connections with amazing kids that I would have never met otherwise.
One of my favorite times at the club is called “power hour”. This is when the kids have an hour to go off into different groups and do activities. My favorite group that I helped out was the “Peanuts” group. This group is made of younger kids. Almost every week they participated in classes where they learned how to cook from one of the staff. It was great to watch them learn and still have fun. We had a few food fights and a lot of flour mishaps. At the end, the best part was watching the kids eat their own food and see them take pride in what they made. One thing is for sure, after those classes I came home a better cook and help to my mom!
5 Tips to Making Volunteering Fun!
1. Do something that you want to do. Choosing to volunteer at an animal shelter when you hate animals is not going to be the right choice for you. Put enough effort into your search to find a place that fits your desires.
2. Be friendly to everyone you meet. Whether they are the vet tech at an animal shelter or someone that you are serving at the soup kitchen, give them a smile; it will make both you and them feel good.
3. Bring a friend! I volunteer with my mom at Midcoast Humane and we have so much more fun because there are two of us. If your friend wants to volunteer and both of you are interested in the same place, go together.
4. That said, try to talk to the other people volunteering. The setting can be a great place to develop relationships with people you may never have met; say “hello!” to your fellow volunteers!
5. Volunteer because you want to. The experience will not be nearly as rewarding if you are thinking about how mad you are at your mom or dad for forcing you to be there.
You don’t have to become a volunteer for a big reason, maybe you just like cats and want to hang out with them for a couple of hours on a Sunday. Volunteering is what you make of it, go in there with a positive attitude and you will surely come out feeling like you accomplished something good for yourself and others!
Now go get started :)
Creative Corner is Magical
Hi, My name is Zoe. Over the past year, I have helped kids at the Boys and Girls Club in Portland to read and write with a program I invented called Creative Corner. I wanted to try to start this program because I got to meet these kids through my Colts soccer team in Middle School and loved spending time with them. Whenever I go into the club, there are always these two girls, Gabby and Mikayla, that are the sweetest kids. Gabby loves the poop emoji and, that can make for some intriguing writing discussions. One day she even wrote a story of how “Lacey the poop emoji” got lost in the board game Candyland and had to get out. Mikayla has just discovered Harry Potter and, over the past few weeks, we have spent many hours debating over the good and evil of characters like Malfoy, Bellatrix, and Voldemort.
I never realized how talking about Harry Potter could make me so happy. Revisiting my favorite series of all time with Mikayla, someone who is just discovering it, became the highlight of my week. I’ll never forget when we were sitting down in the library and out of nowhere, Mikayla casually predicts the ending to the series. My pencil streaked across the paper as I looked at her in shock. She was on book three, The Prisoner of Azkaban, mind you, and was nowhere near close enough to understand the ending. After getting over my initial surprise, I tried not to confirm anything. I casually nodded and went back to writing. It was one of those funny moments where I wanted to say so much, but I knew I couldn’t. In the end, she went on reading just like before. I just pray that my reaction didn’t give her any inclination that she was right. Like many other things, if you know the ending to a series or movie, the scenes in between aren’t as fun!
Anna spends her summers helping wolves
My name is Anna, and I’m a seventh grader at the Friends School of Portland. Last summer I volunteered at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida. The other volunteers and staff were happy to have a kid, even when they had to patiently walk me through things they had done for years. I volunteered because I love animals. Shy Wolf Sanctuary was one of the highlights of my summer.
Playing hide-and-seek with foxes, luring a coyote back into his enclosure with a hotdog, and meeting amazing people were just a few of the experiences I had. I was even face to face with one of the rarest dog breeds in the world, a New Guinea Singing Dog.
Since taking care of the residents at Shy Wolf was from 8-12, I got to enjoy Florida with my grandmother in the afternoons. We went to waterparks, hung out at the beach, and went to great restaurants. Baking a blueberry pie together was a bonding experience, and of course delicious. I got to know my grandmother so much better during that week. And every night, I fell asleep looking forward to being with the wolves.
On my last day of volunteering at Shy Wolf I brought my camera. With permission from the staff, I took photos of the wolves whose names I had grown to love: Dancer, Jasper, Loki, Milo, and more. I have those pictures still, and they help me to remember that fantastic week.
Now, in early 2019, I’m already hoping I can go back in August. Along with the wolves, I admired the people. They were so kind and supportive. My favorite staff member invited me back ‘anytime!’ I definitely want to follow up on that.