Volunteering Like a Boss

Kayla McClanahan

Some+of+the+rebels+of+the+Red+Cross+Youth+Committee

Kayla Carden

Some of the rebels of the Red Cross Youth Committee

Kayla Carden, Editor

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the coolest new thing; a slowly simmering movement of the youth akin to the beatniks of the ’50s and hippies of the ’60s. Some students aren’t fully aware of how exclusive and amazing this new fad is, but I’m sure you know exactly what trend I’m speaking of. That’s right: volunteering.

It’s been a sleeper hit among youth: according to the Corporation for National & Community Center, 55 percent of teens from 12-18 volunteer in some way. Even more interesting, high school students do community service more than junior high students, once again proving that high school kids are better than little kids (sorry, little kids).

Is it really any wonder why volunteering is so popular? Volunteering must make you smarter, seeing as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more people of higher education volunteer than those of lower education (okay, maybe it doesn’t magically make you smarter, but you could try to fool people into thinking it does). Community service also seems to fill volunteers with that rare emotion of “happiness”. Theresa Erbach, the Vice-Chair of Member Support of the Red Cross Youth Council, says, “…I feel like I’m able to make an impact on others that I might not have been able to before. Every time I go out and volunteer, I meet people that I might have never spoken to or gotten a chance to laugh with had I not given up some of my time to go and help. Volunteering is a lot like making a good grade; you feel proud of yourself and like you’ve accomplished something. Giving back is stressed a lot, which makes it easy to overlook, but when you really think about it, volunteers form a really big part of the heart of every community.”

Finally, seeing as the National College Fair is approaching, here’s the big one: most colleges go gaga over students who do lots of community service. Yep, colleges think the volunteers are better than the non-volunteers. Considering these people have Ph.D.’s and get to sit around and judge others every day, they might just know what they’re talking about.

There is now a plethora of ways one can volunteer. Another Kayla (so you just know by default she knows what she’s talking about) made this informational video about why and how you can join the AmeriCorps NCCC, which is an entire group dedicated to doing community service. How could you resist joining up after such an entertaining introduction alone?

Other groups have formed for this volunteering thing, too, like the American Red Cross, United Way, Key Club, Junior Civitan, National Honor Society, and many more. Even non-service clubs are getting into the craze, as seen by the cheerleaders participation in the LifeSouth Blood Drive on Sunday.

What about you? You don’t have to be the next Harvard alumnus or the next starlet to be a volunteer. Join a club that does service or just get out and help somebody in need; then you, too, can be awesome.