A Greenheart Volunteer Journey
By: Jieru Yang, Work and Travel Greenheart Member
Recently I met a kind American woman named Jody who works in a local church in Williston. She gave me her phone number and told me that if I want, I can meet her in church when I have a day off. Several days later, I visited the church where she works. She has a lot of work to do; some of her duties are easy. But I wanted to try to help her and convey my thanks for her kindness to me. She was unsure of me helping as I was there to be a guest, but I told her that I don’t mind doing some volunteer work here, because I would like to help others who need help. She jumped at an offer and thanked me for my kindness.
This was the day that I started my Greenheart Club volunteer journey.
The volunteer work in the church is not hard, but I have learned that I need to be patient and smart. While I help out, I sometimes prepare guest bags. Every Sunday, a lot of people will get together in the church. They will greet and talk each other, sing Christian songs and learn the Bible from the pastor. A guest’s bag is sent to someone who visits for the first time. I also help to prepare letters and stuff envelopes. Every week, the church sends letters to the congregation to inform every one of the activities in the church or in the community. During my last visit, I also assisted in helping to restructure and organize the bulletin board.
After I volunteered more, I arranged my schedule so that I could volunteer even more! The more people I help, the happier I have become. Every week I have two days off, so I have had a lot of time to volunteer. I realized that I wanted to try having more variety in my volunteering, so I decided to find another place and help more people.
I found the Williston Library! After I talked with the director Debbie, she said she would try to find some volunteer work to do. She was hesitant at first, because the training may take a bit, but she accepted me cheerily and wanted me to volunteer there. I was so happy and appreciated it.
So now I have started volunteering at the Williston Library. The first day, I folded bags and cut paper. Oh, what a large number of bags and paper I worked on! It took me three hours to finish my task. Then I assisted in stocking books on shelves. They really needed my help, because instead of doing these small tasks, they had time to do other important things. In the Library, I saw other volunteers work there and after talking to them, we became a team – the “Helping Public People’s Team”. This made me feel so happy!
After starting my volunteer experience this summer, I wanted to thank the Greenheart Club for offering a volunteer platform to us J-1 Summer Work Travel participants. It has been a good opportunity for us to learn American culture and life. I have learned that helping others is a way to help myself. It has been a way of rewarding the people who helped you before. The time in Williston has become my unforgettable memory!