Better to Give than to Get

BV students volunteer during holiday season to better community

‘Tis the season of giving.

As first semester comes to an end and winter break is just around the corner, many students are excited not to have school so they can relax and spend time with friends and family.

However, senior Nicole Robben and sophomore Elaine Zhu will spend most of their winter break volunteering with different organizations.

“During the holidays, I like to volunteer with Wayside Waifs and my church,” Robben said. “I volunteer primarily at Wayside Waifs with the cats and dogs.”

While Robben focuses more on organizations with animals, Zhu said she spends time with organizations that help people.

“I volunteer in a local student-run organization called the Youth Hope Fund,” Zhu said. “We raise money by doing fundraisers, then donate the money to local charities.”

This past year, Robben said she was very involved with her volunteer work.

“I think our school puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of volunteering,” she said. “I was also really encouraged by my family to volunteer.”

Zhu agrees with Robben that family members impacted her to get involved with her community.

“I got into volunteering because my older sister and brother were also active volunteers,” Zhu said. “Doing community service is something really important to me because it shows how much a difference students can make in their community and school.”

Between the two organizations Robben volunteers for, she said she enjoys spending her time at Wayside Waifs more.

“I mainly volunteer for Wayside Waifs because I love working with animals,” Robben said. “I feel like around the holidays they need extra love because [the dogs and cats] aren’t getting any.”

Robben said volunteer work does make a difference in the community.

“I see an impact every week I go [to Wayside Waifs] because the animals will get adopted and find a loving home,” Robben said. “I love seeing families post pictures on Facebook of them, and I love seeing their progress.

Zhu said volunteering betters the community and makes a difference.

“Even if my work is small compared to others, I believe that even some of my work could benefit others and maybe even help make their lives better during the holiday season,” she said.

Both Robben and Zhu encourage students to volunteer during the holiday time.

“I think more people should volunteer, especially during the holiday season,” Zhu said. “During these times, families may need more help than usual because of the upcoming holidays. [The] holiday season is a time for giving, and we can help others by giving our time to help families or charities in need.”