By: Mihaela Gadirca, Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Mihaela is a Work and Travel participant from Moldova. She believes that volunteering is bigger than the needs of one person.

2Volunteerism in the USA introduced me to another side of the States that I had not known before. I definitely want to thank the Greenheart Club for giving the opportunity of living like this. As I learned, a lot of students volunteer as a graduation requirement, which I personally think is fantastic.

During my stay in the U.S. as a Work and Travel participant, I attended four volunteering projects:

The very first one happened to be at Walt Disney School in Chicago. If it wasn’t for volunteerism, I probably wouldn’t have known to visit it. It was sometime after school had ended, when a group of five people met in the library. Our primary goal was to shelve books, but we also labeled and repaired books and reorganized the library set up.

Xochiquetzal Peace Garden hosted me for my second time volunteering. It was one of the Greenheart Service Projects that I attended. It was a green and pleasant environment, a peaceful one. We learned facts about all kind of plants, and we helped clean and maintain the spirit of that small piece of heaven. I was in charge of taking care of the roses. It was the best kind of volunteer work, especially because I love their scent and beauty.

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Late July brought me to Inspiration Corporation. Again, I was an attendee of a Greenheart Service Project. You will probably learn a lot about Inspiration Corporation from the video. We helped moving kitchen utilities from one of their locations to another. We packed, organized, and moved boxes. It was a fun “moving” experience, but on the other side, the depth of our actions was really inspiring.

My last, but not least, volunteering experience was in Washington D.C. at the huge Capital Food Bank. This was a unique experience. The volunteer project itself was sorting meat and other food items that had been donated. But we also had an accounting activity. We had to identify the average amount of money that hungry people have per day to spend on food. My result was $5 per day for a family of three. Impressive. I would have never thought about it, if I hadn’t have been involved in this activity.

All of my volunteering experiences were amazing, unbelievable, and unique. I encourage all of you to spend some of your time volunteering. It will open your eyes wider to the unknown of the world.

Want to see more from Mihaela? Watch her YouTube video below!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPe_FFz1vc4&w=560&h=315]