As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we will be focusing our blog and social media posts on a different area of our services to the community. Each month, we will highlight a part of CPDC’s mission and what steps we are taking every day to help communities grow and thrive. This month, our focus features will center around volunteers from our communities in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The love of volunteering needs to be fostered at a young age. For that reason, we encourage the youth in our communities to get involved and give back to their neighbors through service opportunities throughout the year.
Our youth volunteer group at Stony Brook started a series of programs dedicated to helping their neighbors, supporting the seniors in the complex, and raising money for their college education. Likewise, the youth at Mayfair Mansions and Wheeler Terrace have dug into the communities gardens and are learning nutrition, horticulture, and the value of hard work.
“For my volunteer project, I had to plan a two-week educational summer camp for preschoolers through sixth graders in my community,” said teen volunteer Eunice Kwarteng. “I have always enjoyed volunteering. So when I found out that there was a volunteer program at the CPDC center in my community, it was an opportunity that I could not pass. Community service matters because it gives you a different view on life. Community service gives [us] a sense of ownership.”
Programs like these provide students with a safe and supportive place to go after school. Likewise, by getting involved in these service projects, the youth improve their resumes for college applications.
“My opinion on volunteering has changed a lot since I first started the 8th grade,” said youth volunteer Muhammad Malik. “Back then, I thought it was just something to do to kill time. Now I realize it’s much more than that. It’s a time to learn more about yourself and all the different people in your community.”
Each child we surveyed on their service experience had one thing in common: they got back just as much enjoyment and enrichment as they gave to others.
“It was very satisfying to help kids in my community with their homework, projects, and reading assignments,” said Haniea Mahnoor. “I actually see them improving in their reading skills or math or whatever it is that they were struggling with before.”
Haniea summed it up best when asked why this type of service to others was important. She said, “community service matters for obvious reasons: it’s just something everyone should do. You live in the community so why not do whatever you can to make it better? It’ll make you feel productive as well as help the community grow with your unique efforts you put towards helping.”
We at CPDC encourage you to learn more about ways you can get involved with your community and teach your skills by volunteering. To learn more about ways you can make a different visit our volunteer information page or contact our Director of Volunteer Engagement, Jennifer Fauss at 202.885.9573 or firstname.lastname@example.org.