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Volunteers find helping struggling youth do better is rewarding

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POSTED December 20, 2009 11:27 p.m.

Is there a true benefit to volunteering?

Most people find themselves in need at some point in their lives.

Today you may be the one with the ability to provide a service, but tomorrow you may be the beneficiary of someone else’s effort. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a “benefit” from charitably offering their time; however an unforeseen satisfaction often takes place during the exchange of mentorship. Rebecca Holgate began her journey as a volunteer mentor/tutor for Give Every Child a Chance (GECAC) only expecting to lend a hand to a program that has already aided her academic endeavors. She was a failing 8th grade student; coming to GECAC for a chance to improve her grades. She describes her experience with her tutor as a positive one, “My mentor was so excited for me when I got it right! He seemed to enjoy his time with me, which made me enjoy my time at tutoring.”

Holgate had expressed difficulty with making the right choices, the pressures of bullying, and teen life when the opportunity of becoming a mentor/tutor with GECAC crossed her path. Holgate quickly noticed she had a place to escape these pressures. She explained why she got started as a mentor/tutor. “I needed to be around positive people. I liked that I never felt judged by the mentors that were with me.”

The idea behind the personal satisfaction of a volunteer service is that of seeing the benefit of both the recipient of your efforts and also to yourself.

People start for one reason and will continue to serve as long as they feel that their time shared is offering accomplishment and success.

In Holgate’s case, the accomplishment and success of her students was fueled by her satisfaction of being with her GECAC family, “When I was a student, I only had one mentor/tutor. Now, I’m part of a team of mentors and it helps me to be there for my students.”

When contemplating your next volunteer experience, think about how much you receive when you give and why you are willing to offer your time.

You may have several reasons. Just remember, that what motivates you now to offer your services, may not be why you stay! Look into how you can offer smiles and confidence with Give Every Child a Chance by visiting our office at 322 Sun West Place or finding us online at www.gecac.net.

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