Volunteering In Today’s Society
Leslie Quintanar: GALEO Intern
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
As an intern with GALEO, I have learned the easy, as well as the hard parts that come along with being a part of a non-profit organization. Things take time, nothing comes quickly, and if you put in hours of endless work, the payoff is worth it in the end.
My time is coming to a close, but I have learned so much from my fellow interns, from my supervisors, and from the GALEO volunteers that add to the group.
Mainly, I want to stress the importance of volunteering and the impact that it makes for the community.
Taking it from someone who began to realize the difference that people can make simply by going out into the community, willingly, to try and get others to become more involved, and to have a say in the way they live their lives, it’s the most encouraging action one can go out and make.
Through one way or another, the feeling of reaching out and encouraging friends and family, the young and the elderly, and even people you don’t know, is a prize in itself because as a group effort, change is absolutely possible. This is not about who we like or dislike, nor is it a competition to see who is better than the other; When there is common issue that effects a greater idea than yourself, you start to think, “What can I do to help?”
As a volunteer at your school, at your church, or at your local non-profit, you build relationships with new people with different perspectives and opinions about the world we live in. Some viewpoints may differ than yours but it helps us shape or change what we see with our own eyes. The friends we make while volunteering to help set up tables, hand out flyers, or canvassing are unique, for we all working towards a common goal.
The hours are long and again, things take time and it may feel like nothing has been achieved. But it is the relentless hope and dedication behind the mission that drives the individual to continue pushing for something more meaningful, impactful, and influential.
GALEO’s former chairwoman, Laura Murvartian, illustrates wonderful volunteership through her life. Dedicating her time to various organizations as well as being a critical member of GALEO, she managed to make time for both her family and her work. Laura has been engaged in the Latino community by taking part in the Girl Scouts Hispanic Engagement Committee, as well as being the past President of the Atlanta Latina Business Women’s Association. As a businesswoman, Laura was the National Wine Director of WineStyles as well as the owner of the developmental rights for Georgia. She comes from a humble background and it is her immense work that has gained her praise through many media outlets.
Laura, like many others, grabbed her start and continues her efforts to volunteer for the matters that are important to her. Her persistence is admirable and her personal drive is noteworthy, especially to the countless number of people she’s managed to positively impact along the way.
Becoming the force behind the movement, especially through volunteering, dedicating your own time for causes that mean everything to you or causes that profoundly effects the lives of someone else is an irreplaceable feeling of fulfillment. It’s a selfless act when you help a struggling child, an animal, or a small charity out of sincerity and goodness of the heart. It Is the good from some people that builds trust between the community members. We all want to help each other and we want to push each other forward – not leave others behind.
Which is why I encourage others to step out into their community, to thrust themselves in the world of volunteering and dedication and to be the optimistic difference in society. It could seem scary for some and unapproachable to others. I challenge you to push those fears and judgements aside and I challenge everyone to support, defend, and be vocal about the things that matter to you.
NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.