How to be the Change

 

Charlcie Holguin

In our world today, there are millions of problems that need to be fixed. We hear about it on the news, see it in the movies, on the internet, on commercials, even just by walking down the street. It’s difficult to go anywhere without seeing a person that needs help or an advertisement or billboard asking for your help. There are starving children, wars, mistreated animals, homeless people, global warming, cancer, and who knows what else. DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! We hear it all the time. Recently, there have been several big crises that people have been talking about, but many of these crises are taking place half-way around the world and the only way to help is by sending them your credit card number. We are in an economic crisis and being the “starving student,” I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t have much money to spare. I see all of these bad things going on, I want to do something to help. I know that many other people feel the same way and a great place to start is in our own community. There are several opportunities to help in Las Vegas. Sometimes people don’t just need our money though, they need our time. This article will detail the best way to volunteer and get involved in a community just screaming for our help, without taking out your checkbook.

Interested in finding out how to help in the Las Vegas community, I started with google.com. This is always a good place to start. I found a few websites but one website in particular stood out to me, http://www.volunteercentersn.org. The Organization “The United Way of Southern Nevada” has set up this website to list all of the different volunteer programs available in Las Vegas. They even have it set up by most recent so you can always see what’s coming up next. Right at the very top of the page is a search engine to find the exact type of volunteer work you’d like to do.    I enjoy working with plants and the environment and therefore I would search for websites pertaining to these subjects. Once I’m on the website, I type “environment” into the search box, enter my zip code and hit search. There are additional filters to add if you’d like, such as “time available,” “appropriate for,” and “who would you like to serve?” With my search of that one simple word, 175 results come up (seen in the picture below). That’s 175 available opportunities to help the world or at least to help do some green stuff in the Las Vegas valley. I refined my search, stating I was only available on the weekends and that left me with 7 choices. The listed results tell me how close the volunteer event is to my zip code, who is hosting it, and the time it will occur. I pick something that sounds interesting to me “GREEN Van Goghs.” The description that comes up describes exactly what the volunteers will be doing at the event: “The Green Alliance needs volunteers for GREENFest, a community-wide festival to discover new and exciting ways to go green, save energy, reduce your environmental footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Volunteers will assist in the Kids’ Zone and assist with recycled art activities as well as making sure that the area is fun, organized and effective” (Molever, 2012). I could then sign up to join the project. There are 2 volunteer spots remaining and a chance to work with kids and promote the environment seems like a great opportunity to me. This website can help someone find any type of volunteer project he or she prefers.

This is a great way to get involved and generate your own change. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you want to see something different happen, then you have to make the difference. National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. The world might need our help, but our community needs help, too, and The United Way of Southern Nevada makes it possible to find the opportunities that best suit your needs to help out in our community.

Some of the results that came up for the search “environmental,” there were 175 total.

References

Molever, J. (2012). *green van goghs. Retrieved from http://www.volunteercentersn.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Details_Page?startURL=/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Details_Page?Id=a0CA000000FWbyiMADA@A&id=a0CA000000FWbyiMAD&invCd=

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