Helping Hands, Happy Hearts

Lynette Hersh helping volunteering!

Lynette Hersh helping volunteering!

Leah Silva, Staff Writer, Copy Editor

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Volunteering, whether it be community service or helping others, is good for the body and mind.

“Volunteering gives you such an amazing sense of purpose and joy — you get an adrenaline rush from knowing that you make such a difference,” said Kat Kelly, English teacher at Vista del Lago.

Kelly has a lot of experience volunteering. She started at the age of 12 when she set up a homework and activity club for younger kids whose parents weren’t around often.

Currently, Kelly volunteers at her daughters’ schools whenever possible by fundraising or chaperoning for field trips. She also volunteers as a fundraising coordinator for her oldest daughter’s competitive soccer team. Kelly helps coach her younger daughter’s soccer team and mentors girls she has previously coached.

She is an advocate for kids and teens. Kelly tries to help her friends’ kids by assisting with resumes, giving advice, or helping them find jobs. Kelly also helps her friends with childcare and carpooling, especially her friend who has four children under the age of nine.

“I believe everyone has the capacity to spread positivity in the world and that an act of kindness helps set off a chain of good,” Kelly said

Kelly’s favorite type of volunteering is when she can get kids to help too. She and her daughters donate money to causes, pick up trash at Nimbus Dam, and give snacks to the homeless. “I want my girls to recognize how lucky we are and how similar we are to others who have less. It is our duty to be kind and help when we can. I encourage each person who reads this to make a regular habit of volunteering or doing one concerted act of kindness each month — whether it is helping a friend, carrying grocery bags to an older person’s car, volunteering to watch a younger sibling, or buying a hot meal for a homeless person,” Kelly said.

Hunter Corbitt, a senior at Vista, also does volunteer work. He is in charge of a faith-based organization to help the homeless called Humanity Reboxed. Humanity Reboxed goes to Sacramento Loaves & Fishes to give out kits and talk to the homeless. “We give daily necessities to those in need,” Corbitt said. “So we give out hygiene kits and food kits to those who don’t have much.”

Humanity Reboxed was established in April 2017. “I went on a mission trip in San Francisco, and we served in the Tenderloin district, which is the worst part of San Francisco,” Corbitt said. “I saw how much poverty people are in and how much they are struggling, and so I had an idea, and I went to my buddy, and Humanity Reboxed was born.”

On Monday, Nov. 13, Humanity Reboxed released a student ambassador program. When a student signs up, it allows Humanity Reboxed to get more volunteers, it helps people buy more boxes to hand out, and ultimately helps everyone reach out to more people.  

“It feels really good knowing you’re making a positive impact on other people — it does humble you because you’re seeing all these people who do not have anything,” Corbitt said.

Lynette Hersh, a junior at Vista, volunteers at the UC Davis Mind Institute where she helps kids with conditions such as autism, down syndrome, and ADHD.

“I wanted to be a psychologist since I was little and I have experience with kids with disabilities… so from a young age I was inspired to help them,” said Hersh. “It makes a really big difference to see families having it easier because already they have so much hardship for their kids, so making it a little bit easier makes a huge difference.”

Param Shah, a senior at Vista and vice president of Key Club shares his experience with the club. “Before [I was] vice president, I was the utilities coordinator, which means that I had to look for volunteering events to give to the members, and so after that, I just wanted to help out again, so I looked for a higher leadership position so I could lead the club in a better way,” Shah said.

Key Club is a service based organization where members go out and volunteer for the community. The club participated in the Veterans Parade and one of their favorite things to do is clean the trails. Key Club also volunteers in runs.

“It makes me feel really good because usually people just find volunteering for themselves, so they can volunteer for themselves,” Shah said. “But as Key Club, what we do is we give those events to our members so members don’t have to look up the events themselves. They don’t have to do everything on their own. They get the events provided to them, and to just come on our behalf, and help support out. So it feels really good knowing we are making a difference in the community.”

“Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life,” said Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits” by helpguide.org.

Volunteering makes people feel better, and knowing that you are helping others creates a sense of pride and purpose.   

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