By: Naon Foongfuang, Work and Travel Spring 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Naon Foongfuang is a Work and Travel participant from Thailand, working at an Indian restaurant in Schaumburg, IL. In her third blog post, she shares her experiences volunteering in Chicago and in Hawaii.

Hello everybody! It’s me Naon. Today I’m going to tell you about my volunteering in the USA.

This past spring, I decided to volunteer at two locations. The first location was Xochiquetzal Peace Garden in Chicago. My duties were to get rid of all the weeds, so that there was enough space to plant saplings. Volunteering in the garden is not only fun but you can learn about plants as well; I also had the chance to see many kinds of plants that I had never seen before.

The second place that I volunteered at was the Maui food bank that is located in Wailuku, Hawaii. The Maui Food Bank’s mission is to help the hungry in the Maui County by collecting and distributing food through community partnerships that serve 10,000 people a month. This includes the working poor, children and youth, seniors, the homeless, and anyone who is at risk of going hungry. There was so food that was donated from suppliers and families. My responsibility was to separate all kinds of canned food in separate boxes. Chicken or beef broth, fruits, tomato salsa and etc. categorized each box, so that it is easier to give away the food. I really like volunteering at the Maui food bank because food is such a basic human need, and it was encouraging to see the system that the Food Bank has set up to serve people quickly and efficiently.

Volunteering has helped me to make new friends, expand my network, and boost my social skills and the most important thing – to give good to other people.