My Experience of Volunteering in the NEST

Volunteering helps play a pivotal role in becoming a better and well-rounded person. When you participate in volunteering, it helps you sometimes come back to reality and realize that you do not have it as bad as some others do. It also helps you feel better about yourself, because you have helped someone that really needed it and actually appreciates it. Through volunteering, you build valuable skills and experience that can help you in any form of life whether it be on a job or in school. 

With volunteering, we also have community service and service learning each with their own differences and similarities. Community service is mostly unpaid voluntary work performed by people to help someone or participate in a project to better something in the community. Community service can also be non-voluntary if you are sentenced or mandated to participate in community service. Service learning is a blend of studying and volunteering at the same time, which all forms of community service are a blend of studying and volunteering. With service learning you get to understand what you are doing and how it is helping the person or community, as well as actually participating and following through the project. Volunteering is freely giving your time and skills for community service to help your community. This can be mistaken for all the others, because they are all optional and you are helping the community in the process, except for some of the community service. Even with all the differences and similarities, any form of community service is a great way to spread good and help someone who really needs it. 

When Covid 19 finally gets a cure and we are able to return to normal I would love to volunteer with the NEST organization. The Montrose Center and Hatch Youth coordinates this organization, which is led by the Coalition for the Homeless Houston and Harris County. NEST is a citywide effort to help kids and young adults who identify as LBGQT that are homeless due to unforeseen circumstances as well as being kicked out of their home because of their sexuality. They are hard at work improving policies and interventions to prevent LGBQT youth homelessness across the county.

When I can volunteer, I would like to help with their homeless youth comfort bags drive. With this drive, I would be responsible for helping put comfort bags together for the young adults. I would make sure each bag has the essentials such as hygiene products, housekeeping supplies, and new clothing. These bags can also come with a letter of encouragement, which I think is a small gesture that can really mean the most to some of these young adults. Along with these comfort bags, I would like to participate as possibly becoming a mentor to a few of the youth. I would be responsible for helping people with normal guidance and just being there for them when they need someone to talk with. This would give me the most satisfaction, because I know I have helped someone in his or her time of need.    

Through the two examples above teamwork, networking, and communication play hand and hand. Teamwork is pivotal in putting together the comfort bags, because without teamwork no one person can produce the number of bags the organization needs. Communication helps other volunteers know what has not made it into the bags that need to go in them. Through other volunteers participating in the bag drive, networking becomes prevalent because you never know who you will meet and how they can help pave the way for other things in life. Communication and teamwork is extremely valuable, because you have to listen and work with these young adults in order to help and guide them through this extremely tough time they are going through. Almost everything we do in our daily lives involve communication, teamwork, and networking. 

Volunteering for the NEST organization would really help my confidence and give me a sense of accomplishment. Knowing that I have helped other people in need, and I hope I have made an impact in their life really lifts me up and gives me a sense of pride and achievement. Through helping the community it puts a fire inside myself to keep participating and helping others in need. It helps me look past everything in my life that I consider bad, and sets me in a place that always reminds me that no matter how bad you have it someone else always has it worse. It also helps me remember that a little kind gesture no matter how small it may seem may mean the world to someone, because we are quick to judge without knowing what a person is truly going through in life. Volunteering is a great way to meet a completely new group of people, make a difference in their life, and possibly make a few new friends along the way.



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