One of the best ways to spend an afternoon is volunteering. Whether you are involved at a shelter, supporting an important event, or assisting in a care center, volunteering revolves around helping others in need. The benefits of volunteering are endless: you can gain experience, compassion, and life-long knowledge while making remarkable memories. You go home feeling re-energized and eager to lend a hand. But I think the best thing about volunteering is knowing that you helped improve someone’s day, or maybe even their life.
There is no limit to the different opportunities CEU provides as a university. There are chances for students to join sports teams, maintain internships, and get involved with the community. It seems that each degree offers many opportunities to better yourself and your surroundings. For example, students that study nursing have the option to volunteer at an assisted living center and orphanage three times a week. And even though their schedules might be full of studying, practicals, and classes, they make it a priority to show up and help.
Marina María Lewis, a student in the Spanish Pathway to Nursing degree, tries to volunteer at least once week, specifically on Mondays. When asked what she does when volunteering, she gushes, “We assist patients at Santa Monica, a home for elderly who can’t live independently. We have a series of tasks, most of which include basic needs in life such as feeding those who can’t feed themselves, dressing and undressing them, and walking or wheeling them to their rooms. We also assist the nuns and the other volunteers in giving shots to some patients and changing their beds”.
The variety of responsibilities each volunteer has might seem overwhelming but it is definitely worth it. With every task comes a new lesson and a better understanding of taking care of people and having patience. “I really like that I get the opportunity to help the elderly. They’re super funny people, I always leave the residence with a new story that makes me happy”, says Marina, with a smile on her face. “I feel like through this service I am also familiarizing myself with tasks that will become part of my future as a nurse. I really recommend doing this volunteer project to anyone who is interested, not only nursing students. It is a very humbling experience to be able to help others have an easier life. Santa Monica has given me a lot of stories to tell and experiences that have further sparked my excitement for my future as a nurse”.
Another Spanish Pathway to Nursing student, Ana Negro, explains her volunteering experience: “Through the university I have become a volunteer at an elderly home in Santa Monica to which I attend either Monday’s or Thursday’s. At the elderly home most of our tasks consist in helping elderly women carry out their day-to-day routine; we assist them in moving them from one room to another, we feed them, and we get them ready for bedtime. On Monday’s we get the chance to, along with a pharmacist, organize the medication of each woman for the week. We also get the chance to see how the women are cured and at times even participate too. For example, I have had to help in giving injections before. I look forward to going to the elderly home every day I go since each time I get to have a conversation or an experience from which I learn something new. The Santa Monica elderly home is very welcoming and an opportunity for me to put into use or develop skills I will use as a future nurse. I definitely recommend volunteering to anyone with the vocation of caring”.
Volunteering is a beautiful passion that is both valuable and virtuous. Not only will you give love and knowledge, but you will receive it, too.