Volunteering used to be something that was a really big part of my life in high school. Admittedly, in college this hasn't been the case. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, but it is on my senior year bucket list to get back into it!
Today really inspired me to want to get involved again, because my company had all of the interns go out to the Greater Chicago Food Depository! I wasn't sure what exactly to expect, but it was such a fun and different experience (not to mention a nice little break from an afternoon in my cubicle...)
It was a different volunteering experience than I'm used to, mostly because I typically go for experiences where I get to visibly see the difference I'm making and physically interact with the people whose lives I am helping - it helps me get the full experience and really take something away from it all, not to mention it is usually a very humbling activity.
Today, however, I got to physically see (and feel) the difference I was making, because we lifted and packaged over 22,000 pounds of carrots in just a few short hours! We actually ran out of carrots and they had to move us over to corn, and we more than doubled the goal the depository set for us! (This definitely appealed to my competitive nature!)
I've been debating my afternoon workout because my arms are a little sore, but all in all it was incredible to know that we could help so many people. The Greater Chicago Food Depository helps people who are 'food insecure' - essentially, those that don't know where or when they will get their next meal. 1 in 6 people in the county it serves are considered food insecure, and the depository sends supplies to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens all over the Chicago area.
If you are in or near Chicago, I seriously recommend volunteering there for an afternoon! It only takes about three hours, and you make such a huge difference! Already the food we packaged today is being ordered and will be picked up bright and early tomorrow morning to help those who are struggling, which is such an exciting feeling to know how immediate our efforts are making a difference.
How have you made a difference this summer?