Make a difference
Are you in need of a way to complete those community service hours for school? Well you are in luck! There are so many opportunities for you to help right here in Fresno.
Something that is really cool about volunteering is that you get so much more out of it than that grade you were working for, or for the perfect college application. Once you meet the people and get to know them and their families, it is so much more than you could ever write in a paragraph.
Besides the obvious places to serve: a soup kitchen or homeless shelter (which are great too), there are so many other places that sometimes can get neglected because they are not as “popular.”
Last year we went on a trip to the Los Angeles Mission with the music department. They treated the people with the dignity and respect they deserve, calling them their “friends and neighbors,” and you could tell they genuinely meant it. Being there felt like home — not because we have experienced something similar, but because everyone was treated like family.
We expected it to be much more depressing and run-down than it was, but they kept their facility in mint condition, making it seem more like a home for the people there longer than a one-night deal. It is run only through private funding, so that alone made the pure size and modern design of the place awe-inspiring.
Granted, it can be intimidating trying to find a place that you feel comfortable in and gives you those same fuzzy-feelings as volunteering at others, but really, it’s about making relationships with people, and getting to know them where they’re at. So it doesn’t matter if you’re shuffling books at the library or feeding animals at the ASPCA, when you give your heart to the project and the people, everything is worth it.
Some not-as-visited places to volunteer here in Fresno are: the Evangel Home, ASPCA, Valley Animal Center, the Fresno County Public Library, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, local thrift stores, churches and so many more. So make some calls, grab some friends, find a ride and get out there and make a difference in someone else’s life.