One of our own Clements rangers has embarked on a journey to help others get out into the community and volunteer.
Many students probably remember Julie Mandimutsira as one of the graduating seniors of the class of 2020. Since then, she has moved her education all the way to Durham, North Carolina where she attends Duke University. As a Girl Scout Ambassador, Julie created Gear to Volunteer as her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. And with this project, she aimed to “get people better lined up with better volunteer opportunities that would matter to them.”
As high school students that are on a path to college, volunteer opportunities are imperative to set someone apart from another student applying for the same school. Kids scramble for as many volunteer hours as they could possibly get, but in doing so they do not get to put their time and energy into something that they are actually passionate about.
“I think the bigger, more important reason was just what I’ve noticed around school,” Julie said. “I know that it’s very hard for a lot of students to find meaningful and engaging volunteering opportunities.”
Julie told me about a specific event that has stuck with her and contributed to the creation of this project.
“I was at Second Mile and we were all putting together like care packages for families that were hungry… and there were two volunteers who literally, to avoid doing the work, they literally went and sat behind the crates of food,” Julie said.
Her goal in this project is not only to help students inquire about volunteer opportunities that interest them but to also ensure that these organizations are not burdened by people who do not contribute to the cause.
“And that’s when I kind of realized that like as students, we’re really not being hurt by us not putting effort towards what we’re doing,” Julie said. “But the organization that’s depending on our efforts and the people who are depending on the services of that organization are the ones who are suffering.”
The Virtual Fair had an even better turn out than was to be expected and Julie was able to help many students get connected to volunteer opportunities that fit them
“I didn’t think that this was going to get as much traction as it did,” Julies said. “I didn’t think that I was going to be as successful as I was… but I was so happy to see that I was. So happy.”
If you are interested in this project, it is not too late. There are still resources open that will help you volunteer for what matters to you. Links to the resources:
Gear to Volunteer Fair: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TqCFMLHp57PMlg1f6ZPW36LJdPzYlaJk/view?usp=sharing