Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome to my blog! My name is Beatriz Parres and I will be talking about being a volunteer and helping those in need. I am a sophomore at St. Edward’s University and I have been volunteering since I was in Middle School. I had the opportunity to help in elderly residences and day-events in Spain, which gave me another perspective regarding volunteering in other countries. Also, here in Austin, Texas, I have volunteered as a tutor for kids with learning and social problems during my senior year at high school with a program called PALS. I am always trying to be involved in one single day events like the Hunger Walk. During my freshman year in college I volunteered with Community in Schools at the Pebble Project program, which I loved! This program consisted on going into classes making small plays representing bulling, physical and sexual abuses, and taught the children how to respond to them and report them. However, this year I started to volunteer in Casa Marianella with a program at my university called S.E.R.V.E. Austin, where I help men and women refugees and immigrants to learn English, apply for jobs, cook, or simply make them some company.

PALS program with pal Francia

In this blog you will find information about local volunteering projects in small communities as well as around the world. If you think that it is time to get involved in the community, whether you are planning on doing it occasionally, temporarily, or for long periods of time, this is your place! Here you will find the sources and information you need to encourage yourself to help others and get started. If you want to start with small events and temporary volunteering, Capital Area Food Bank of Texas is the perfect site for you. Their mission is “to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger”. Their Website gives great information about volunteer work as well as different events you can get involved in that only last a day. This organization started in 1981 in Austin, Texas and was awarded recently with the Charity Navigator's highest rating.

Shirley helping in Casa Marianella's kitchen

 If your intention is to commit for a period of time you can try Community In Schools, which has great programs that can fit your schedule and desires.  This site has programs for long-term commitments, such as the type of volunteering that I did, and single day events throughout the year, where volunteers go to middle schools and help with set-ups and activities; whichever is more convenient for you. Also, you can make donations to these organizations if none of the programs fit your necessities. Both of these organizations, Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and Community in Schools participate with the AmeriCorps, which is a program from the Corporation for National and Community Service. This program is for a longer commitment to give back to the community.

For people who are looking for a longer commitment than a single day, Peace Corps is your choice. It started in 1960 with Senator John F. Kennedy and since then Peace Corps have served in 139 with more than 200,000 volunteers helping. This is one of the top volunteering organizations that can take you all around the world getting involved and living experiences you have never imagined.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting blog!!! I like the information about volunteering in Austin Texas.

    Thanks Bea to share your knowledge and experience with us!!!