Leah Schwarting

It has always impressed me that Florida Southern College puts so much emphasis on volunteering.

My old high school, while good, didn’t really emphasize volunteering too much. Things changed when I got to college.

I got caught up in it my first week here with Sandwich Ministries. The highlight of my fall this year was going to Give Kids the World, seeing the power of volunteering combine to run an entire resort for children with illnesses.

I can’t say that I do as much as some people though.

Several organizations around campus, as well as fraternities and sororities, host events ranging from simple clean-ups to drives that raise countless donations.

Still, it feels good to know that, in some small way, I’m giving back to my community. Someone, even someone that I may never meet, will benefit from what I’m doing. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I think that many people feel this way around campus. We did just win an award for how much our college volunteers after all.

At the same time, I know that some people think that they don’t have time to volunteer. Life can get hectic, and I know that things can get busy.

I understand too. Sometimes things seem to stack on top of each other and there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

Sometimes things fall by the wayside, and it’s alarmingly easy to let them just lay where they drop.

Everyone has something to do, something that’s going on in their life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman and still testing the waters of the college world, or a senior getting ready to move onto the “real” world.

Everyone is busy with something, whether it’s schoolwork, a club, a job or a sport.

It’s why I think that, in several cases, people who don’t volunteer are just overwhelmed by everything.

It’s difficult to decide what to do when many opportunities require commitments for many hours on several days a week.

It just seems like a lot of these organizations are asking too much and, for people with busy schedules, sometimes that’s true.

However, there are several organizations out there that only require committing a day or two a week.

These organizations are no less important than the ones that do require more of a commitment, and you can easily help others.

It’s one of the reasons that I like our Life and Cultural Center. They go through a lot of trouble to show students that it’s easier to donate their time than they think.

It doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture. It can be as simple as making a shoebox full of gifts for children in Haiti or going on a school-sponsored trip to volunteer at a children’s camp.

Just like anything in life, volunteering does involve time management.

It requires a few hours that part of you thinks would be better spent working on that term paper.

In the end though, you’re giving more than your time. You’re giving your help to someone out there that needs it, and that’s something worth rearranging things for.