Volunteering is Where the Heart Is

BV seniors discuss NHS community service

Mena Walker, Staff Writer

Volunteering is a way to enable individuals to help others to gain self-reliance by giving individuals a chance to try something new and rebuild their sense of self-achievement and independence.

Seniors Caroline Hanson and Lance Philgreen both joined National Honor Society (NHS) to elevate their academics, leadership and community service engagements.

For Hanson, she was glad to take this opportunity to learn numerous volunteering perspectives.

“[NHS] gives you a lot of things to do, like Community for Kids and packaging food,” she said. “I like to volunteer at the Botanical Garden and John Ox Village, which is a retirement home.”

Philgreen agrees there are a lot of occasions for social services.

“We’ll have different opportunities like doing food drives and [helping] volunteer at other events outside [of] NHS,” he said. “You can do a lot of other volunteering.”

Knowing your strengths allows you to choose the role you will be most effective in as well as to find enjoyment. Hanson uses her influences to help understand where she is to help others.

“My empathy and sincerity help me volunteer because a lot of people will go in and want to get it over with — they’re like, I’m here to help you do bingo and leave,” Hanson said. “You need to be there in the moment, and I think that’s what makes the best volunteers.”

Unlike Hanson’s stability, Philgreen wants to help by serving others.

“My greatest strength is a genuine understanding of the other person saying, ‘I don’t always like to fit right in their shoes,’ but [instead], ‘Hey, I understand what you’re going through,’” Philgreen said.

Hanson believes having volunteer work helps prepare her work experience.

“I’ve been working since [I was] 15 — I think [having a] definite drive and experience, especially in customer service, gives you the ability to understand and have patience with people,” she said. “[Volunteer-wise] my family has had something called the Hanson Harvest. We collect food and then we go bag it, and we send it out to people at Harvesters. It’s been one of my favorite things every year. I look forward to it.”

Volunteering brings people together from different industries and backgrounds to a habitual goal.

“I’m learning a lot about engineering and infrastructure [in industries],” Philgreen said. “It enables me to have a sort of background knowledge on a bunch of stuff STEM-related, in terms of past volunteering opportunities.”

There are so many ways to feel appreciated from volunteering, Hanson said.

“[Whenever] helping the people in person, in real-time, it’s a feeling you get,” she said. “Assising the old people play bingo, who can’t see and they are like, ‘You’re so sweet. Thank you for helping me.’ It’s just that satisfaction you’re not going to get anywhere else.”

On the other hand, Philgreen enjoys his time working and helping others.

“It’s the people I work with,” he said. “Like with food and stuff like that. I also help kids understand certain STEM topics. [It’s the] kids’ faces that light up that make me feel appreciated.”

Hanson and Philgreen both think the NHS volunteer aspect is a good fit for them and how it impacts them to have a fearless approach, be proactive and take initiative.

“I love NHS because it gives me so many more opportunities,” Hanson said. “[I personally consider] NHS [a substantial] opportunity for kids who want to give back to that community.”