Lend a Helping Hand

The majority of us live such a blessed and abundant life that we take it for granted. While we are sitting at home comfortably, there are people in this world, and even in our community, that are starving, living on the streets, or barely making enough money to feed their families. In my opinion, it is our moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
To some, volunteering seems like a job or a waste of time. However, spending your time volunteering and helping the community is not only rewarding, but can also be very enjoyable. Finding something you like to do and putting it to use to help others can be a life changing experience.

Junior, Xiao Liang, member of the National Honor Society, put on a jean drive as his individual service project this year. He said, “I think volunteering is important because we are lucky to have what we have; and giving some time to help others in need always makes you feel good inside! It’s humbling and it can make someone’s day, and who doesn’t want to do that?”

Giving back doesn’t have to be a huge commitment either. There are many organizations you can volunteer for whenever is convenient for you. Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in Sherwood, allows individuals ages 16 and older to volunteer as a “Cat Cuddler.” People with this title work with the cats that aren’t accustomed to human interaction and need to be familiarized with attention prior to being adopted. “Cat Cuddlers” can go to the CAT facility whenever they please to play with the cats.

Another volunteer-based organization, Hope’s Diner, is also located in Sherwood. Youth volunteers go to serve food to the elderly in need of a good meal. Speaking from experience, interacting with the kind people enjoying their meals while serving their food is a great experience. They also have some very interesting stories to share with you.

One more good opportunity to get involved is by joining the Tigard Key Club. Junior, Juliet Adams, said, “Joining Key Club is a good way to get involved, also Doernbecher Club here at Tigard is good as well. Students should volunteer because we take so much for granted and it’s just wrong to not give back with our time and work so we can help others.”

Adams also said, “I volunteered at an animal refuge for farm animals (many of them injured) and helped clean and better the conditions of the animal sanctuary. Animals can’t speak for themselves so it felt really great to give them a voice by giving my time to make their living situation better.”

Adams has gained a lot from giving back and has grown as a person. Everybody can benefit from giving back and helping others.

One way to find out about volunteering locally is by going to HandsOnPortland.com. This website will give you seemingly endless lists of volunteering opportunities from around the Portland area.

You may also check your local library or church. They always have something going on and could use a helping hand.

If you are curious about volunteering positions, a good person to speak to is Mr. Caro. As leader of the National Honor Society (NHS), Mr. Caro will be able to give you some ideas as to where to start when looking to volunteer.