What was observed during the experience?
My son and I volunteer at the local food pantry at least one day a week. During my volunteering service, I got to observe how things work out between the county government and the local food pantry. Also, I noticed that we were more than 20 local businesses and other organizations provided food and other donations to the local food pantry but it only at certain times of the year, typically near the holidays. I observed that the donations handled out by the county to the local food pantry was not enough to feed the needy families. The bulk of the food donations came from private citizens.
It was amazing to see that there are so many people in my community that are dedicated to those in need and not just around the holidays but on a monthly basis. In a month, our food panty feeds approximately 700 families. However, there are months that the food donations seem to fall short and we can’t always provide enough food for each family to feed all their members properly. This issue needs to be addressed.
During my volunteering experience, I got to observe the importance of helping in the community. Volunteering is a service that helps many groups of people in society who prove to need our help and support. I learned that our voluntary services helped the needy families by providing them with food and other household supplies. I also observed that the county government played an important role, it provides the building space used to run the food pantry. Thus, the government involvement in the community showcases that it is part of a strategy that helps eradicate hunger among the needy families. Additionally, the county government involvement in this program displays how people in a community should work together to eradicate other challenges that may arise.
My experience being a volunteer greatly affected my views on helping others. Through my experience, I acquired some skills and knowledge on how to deal with people who need our help and support. It is a humbling experience and it makes me realize how truly blessed we are. In this case, my experience affected my thinking and views towards how helping others in society is truly important. I have learned that it is more than just handing bags of food to people.
It helped me realize that no one wants to be in a situation where they cannot afford food and other basic needs for their family. I can’t imagine how some of the parents feel walking into a building and asking another person for help and admitting they can’t take care of their family on their own. This experience helped my son realize the importance of helping those in our community when they can’t help themselves and what it means to be a good neighbor.
Working in the food pantry also helped me understand the issues affecting my community and what I can do to help to improve the quality of life for my neighbors. I believe to create real change we must get as many people as possible involved. Every week my son and I invite friends to join us at the food pantry. Volunteering helps to inform people about what changes need to be advocated in the society. Additionally, voluntary services are known to inform people on what issues or challenges affect their community. People need to fully understand the environmental, economic and social issues that affect society (Basirico, Cashion and Eshleman, 2014). Thus, understanding the in-depth causes of the problems can help establish effective strategies that can eradicate the issues in the society.
Other than understanding the issue, volunteering also helps create a bond with other people working and living our communities. Establishing relationships with other people who work towards eradicating or controlling societal problems. Through the experience acquired, I learned that social problems could be controlled through people working together in unity. In other words, strategies and measures that control societal issues can be achieved through people working together that helps establish possible solutions. Therefore, young people should use their potential to help the needy people in the society.
What are the needs of the population that you interacted with for this assignment?
My voluntary service was directed toward serving needy families that require food and other basic resources. Based on the situation faced, the needy families require important things that can help control their needs. It does not necessarily mean that people who lack basic resources are needy in society. However, the families, in this case, are needy and still require some resources that can help improve their living standards. Other than food, volunteers should also donate other essentials, such as clothing, soaps and sanitary products to the needy families. I believe that donating time can be just as important as donating basic resources. The food pantry I volunteer always needs people to help sort incoming donations,
On the other hand, the county government can also help ensure that the needy families are offered tents which they can use as shelter. Some of the families being fed by the volunteering program are believed not to have any place to stay. Therefore, volunteers can also opt to donate some tents for the homeless families that can act as their temporary shelter. In some cases, society can also donate medicine and other drugs that can help when the need arises. Additionally, clean water should also be provided to the families as it is part of the necessary needs that they lack. In this case, needs such as clean water, sanitary wares, clothes, and soaps tend to be necessities that should be offered to the needy families.
Being in this volunteering group can help make a difference towards the families. As a member, I can advocate for the group to make posters that create awareness for other people about the voluntary services that take place at the local food pantry. Other than that, I can advocate for the group to conduct a weekly contribution which they involve other people from society to raise enough donations for the families. Additionally, I can recommend the group to be always keeping a record of the food donated to the local food pantry. Through the records, the group can have an idea of what food are present and which ones need to be brought in the local pantry.
To make a difference in the group, I would encourage other volunteers to be working extra hours on the weekends if possible. In this case, working extra hours at the weekend can help organize food on the pantry shelves. Also, extra working hours can help save time that could have been used somewhere else by the volunteers. Encouragement will also help me make a difference in the group since it will help the volunteers identify that helping the needy in the society is humane and good morals. Therefore, voluntary services are always established to help and support people in society (Rochester, Paine, Howlett, Zimmeck & Paine, 2016). In other cases, volunteering help eradicates or control societal issues that face individuals in the community.
Basirico, L.A., Cashion, B.G., & Eshleman, J.R (2014). Introduction to Sociology. BVT Publishing.
Rochester, C., Paine, A. E., Howlett, S., Zimmeck, M., & Paine, A. E. (2016). Volunteering and Society in the 21st Century. Springer.
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