Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St Olaf chapter.

This week at St. Olaf, the Volunteer Network (VN) is hosting Volunteer Week.  This student-led organization is showcasing and promoting their 30+ volunteer organizations on campus by tabling outside the caf, hosting different events and presenting opportunities to win prizes.  One of the activities this week is to stop by the Volunteer Network table, take a photo and write an explanation of why you volunteer.  Participants hold a whiteboard saying “I love volunteering because…” and fill in the blank.  Photos are currently being posted on Facebook on VN’s page (Find it here!) , and it has been quite a treat to look through them.  To get your mind on the topic of volunteering, I’m going to share VN’s photo project with you and encourage you to acknowledge the importance of volunteering this week and every week to come! 

Time doesn’t always require money.  

In our face-paced society, it is so easy to focus only on the activities that give you immediate (often monetary) rewards.  But what if your sources of income don’t bring you joy, don’t take up all of your day or don’t allow you to make a difference in the way that you want to?  Volunteer your time, even though time is precious in college.  A lot of people need your time more than you do.  Though the phrase “treat yourself” comes up practically every day, try to treat yourself and others.  Volunteering helps you do that at the same time.  

Small things done with great love change the world. 

A lot of people think that their acts alone aren’t making an impact.  People see themselves and their influence as microscopic in comparison to celebrities or influential figures with seemingly endless amounts of money, knowledge, talent or time.  Yet, no matter where you go, people will need help and your impact will be felt by at least one person, which does indeed change the world.  

Every person counts.

None of us are more or less human than the other.  Everyone suffers and everyone has the potential to feel joy.  Rather than banding against other people or alienating them as others just because you don’t understand their particular suffering, identify with them as a member of the same human race going towards (likely) a similar goal of survival and/or happiness. Help them as a neighbor and channel the selflessness that you are capable of expressing. 

Your reason for volunteering may be completely different than these.  Regardless of your motivations, your volunteered time and energy make a difference!

*All photos credited to the Volunteer Network Facebook page linked above.