October 4, 2023

Celebrating Volunteerism

Volunteerism is something many Americans celebrate all year round through acts of kindness and service in their communities. One can never perform too much volunteer work as it really is the gift that keeps on giving!

This week, our nation celebrates National Volunteer Week (April 23 through 29). Individuals across the country are working on projects that mean something to them, whether it is with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, or even just in their schools, churches, children’s homes or nursing homes.

At Columbia Southern University, we decided to take this opportunity to get to work at one of our favorite local charity organizations, Feeding the Gulf Coast food bank. This organization serves Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and their combined locations distribute more than 20 million pounds of food each year! Last week, a team of CSU employees traveled to one of their locations to pack food for their backpack program, which helps feed chronically hungry children by providing them easy and nutritious food to take home from school on weekends and during school vacations.

Community Outreach and Student & Alumni Engagement. From left to right: Andie Bills, Robert Cunningham, Vicki Barnes, Sonya Lavett, and Caroline Walters

While we think volunteering is something that should be included in everyone’s regular schedule, having a week to be reminded of the good one can do in their communities is important.

What are your strengths, skills or passions? What do you enjoy doing? Use these things to find volunteer work that works for you! Even though volunteerism is primarily done for the good of others, it should be fun and rewarding, not a chore. Maybe there is an elderly neighbor who needs odd jobs done around their house or errands run, or perhaps your skills would be best suited in an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters. However you can serve, there is almost a guarantee that there is a need for you in your local community. While the purpose is to give back and help others, we bet you’ll get something out of the experience, too.