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Students partake in volunteer opportunities on and off campus

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

Students remove carpets and furniture for Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Mission (FIRM) on FC Serve Day, March 1.

Fostering animals, helping the homeless, or serving food all contribute to the variety of activities campus students partake in to give back to their communities.  Whether during Serve Day or participating in serve club, students join together to make their school and city a better place. 

President of the on-campus serve club, junior Marin Sue hopes to encourage her peers by helping and serving them. As they go out into the community on weekends, the members become more aware of the issues in their neighborhoods.

“I started a serve club so people can have more opportunities to serve outside of Serve Day,” Sue said. “They have something to do after school. I started volunteering with foster animals three years ago and it was so cool to experience how they change at the shelter.”

Vice president of the serve club, Hannah Garcia, ‘20, began volunteering in seventh grade when opportunities to serve jumped out at her.

“I have always felt that the reason I am here is to serve others,” Garcia said. “It’s not necessarily because I want to accomplish something, but I feel in a way it is my calling to help give back. I volunteer whether it’s making blankets for the homeless shelter or serving food; I love being able to see them happy.”

FC Serve Day presents an opportunity for the students at Fresno Christian to become more involved in the community. Whether it’s helping at the food bank, convalescent home, or a local assembly, students become more aware of needs in their communities.

In the following podcast, Evangelina Tello explains why it’s important for high school students to take advantage of volunteer opportunities.

Volunteering to teach ballet lessons to young children, Adalyn Richardson, ‘21, enjoyed the warmth of their excitement to learn new things. Her best memory of volunteering was when the kids threw a party for a dance teacher who was leaving.

“Helping teach little kids is a lot of fun,” Richardson said. “It’s cool to see the same interest they have as I did when I was little. I’m glad I can help and teach younger children and hear their stories from them or their parents. Being able to go home and pray for them or with them is really important to me. It’s also really fun to be apart of the part of their day, they get excited to go and learn.”

Breakaway, an annual week-long camp run by Peoples Church, hosts almost 500 students from around the city. The kids spend five days sleeping in “tabins”, listening to speakers, and serving various schools, non-profits and churches across Fresno county.

In the following tweet, CSF appreciates students for the work they do in their communities.

Breakaway volunteer at Peoples Church, Hayden Trevino, ’22, has looked for ways to benefit the city since seventh grade. He hopes to encourage children to become closer to God as he participates.

“I hope to lead them closer to Christ and show them God’s love,” Trevino said. “I especially love helping children when I volunteer because their hearts are so open and they are so loving. I always like to remember Matthew 18:1-5.

“Some of my favorite moments of serving are when I was at Breakaway,” Trevino continued. “We helped serve at Valley Christian Center. We worked in their thrift store and sorted through winter clothes. We worked very hard and the owner of the store let us get 1 item for free and my friend got a unisex suit.”

California Scholarship Federation (CSF) presents opportunities for students to volunteer around the community, providing the minimum eight volunteer hours a semester. The program helps students gather scholarship money for various colleges.

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

Students organize and sort books for Reading Heart during Serve Day 2018.

Academic counselor Evangelina Tello advises students to jump at opportunities to volunteer. She suggests taking on as many volunteer hours as possible to show involvement in the community for colleges to see.

“In organizations you learn about teamwork, communication, and making connections within the community,” Tello said. “For some college applications they ask what you were involved with either on your campus or your community, and how many hours they took apart of.”

Some local nonprofit and charity businesses students can volunteer at are Valley Animal Center, Global Bridges, The Fresno Rescue Mission, and Fresno Ideaworks. These organizations hope to get students involved with serving the community in whatever they decide to do.

Volunteering while in high school plays an essential part of getting accepted into a college or university. Showing you are a part of your community and the people around you shows commitment, develops friendships, and gives you an opportunity to make a difference.

For more articles, read Disneyland raises prices before new land opens. Also, read Alina Ochoa serves residents at Holiday Retirement.

Kyler Garza can be reached via email.

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