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I thought it'd be nice to have a place where you share how volunteering has touched your life :)!
Growing up, I was taught very strongly to give time to other people, and to my community. As kids my brother and I would do something as simple as go around the neighborhood picking up trash, just for fun because we liked the world looking cleaner. The first work I really did was volunteering at the hospital, we had a clowning troop in Grade school and we'd go and keep the elderly or the ill company, make them laugh. From there we would also volunteer our time, often for simple things like doing lawn maintanence/gardening work for the elderly. After a summer in China helping the pandas, I got really into animal welfare though, and typically do humane society type work. I also sometimes do food drives or volunteer with nutrition related type charities. Want to do the Peace Corps- two years of helping people, how amazing would that be?
One summer I volunteered at a Wild Life Rehab center. People would bring in orphaned birds of prey, deer and wildlife that had been hit by cars or caught in traps, and the center would rehabilitate them back to health and release them into the wild again. I was able to feed the orphans (baby racoons,possum, birds) and help with the variety of tasks that come with a large number of animals. I loved it, and I was so inspired by these animals will to live. Some would come in in such tragic states, but they had that gleam in their eyes that said "I want to live".
There was one animal in particular that changed my life- a falcon named Corvis. Corvis was brought in because some teenagers had caught him (how I have NO idea) and broke his wing, they tied him upside down to a branch and left him there in agony.
He had such spark and determination to live, he was able to heal and I had the honor of watching his release- watching him fly away free, after overcoming such a terrible thing, was the most beautiful thing I ever saw.
I will never forget that summer and the animals I met- they touched my life and my heart very deeply. Whenever I feel down, or stressed about something- I think of those animals and what they went through, and how strong they all were to pull through the horrible things that happened to them. It gives me strength to keep going when I don't know if I can anymore.
That sounds like an amazing experience, Ciarra. How cute you got to feed the babies that were in need :3! Must be very sad to see the animals come in, but to be able to nurture them back and send them back out to live their lives, that must have been very gratifying. A falcon!!! SO devastating to hear that children could do such a thing to animals... glad you were able to watch him fly off, with another chance at life :)! Thank you for sharing your experiences, it was touching and lovely xo
The volunteering I've done generally involves conservation and/or traditional skills as this is where my interests lie :) The National Trust has working holidays and I've had some great experiences while drystone walling, hedge laying and rhododendron bashing (a highly invasive of which has taken over vast swathes of the UK - it's taken the NT 25 years to clear one Welsh valley of it for example - much to the detriment of natives and natural ecosystems). Learned some traditional skills, met some interesting people, and got to help maintain some traditionally managed landscapes. I also spent some time last year helping a bloke build a yurt. A great experience once again as a lot of the tools and methods were unfamiliar to me and location was beautiful.
Now, through my job, I work with a lot of volunteers (think I've had in the region of 35-40 individuals working with me over the past 6 months) and I enjoy working with them thoroughly.
Wow that is so great :) Conservation is so very important, you have a very unique experience from myself with volunteering your time. You actually have skills and shit you can share, and you do- thank you for sharing this here, and thank you for giving your time to others :)
When I was 16 I volunteered at a pet facility and took care of dogs. I cleaned there messes, played, and walked them. It was a really interesting experience. Even though I was a volunteer, I was very nervous and I didn't make much interaction with the workers employed there. When I was 19, I joined a meetup group that are veg friendly. I noticed that there was an event volunteering at an animal sanctuary and I did it. It definetly was life changing. I have never been that close to any animals aside from pet animals. I saw life through the eyes of these rescued beings. I loved it and It was definetly a highlighting moment throughout my veganism. I met compassionate and like minded people there. I started volunteering more often not just with animals but enviornmental things like moving invasive plants and cleaning up parks. I started to become a stronger advocate for veganism and it has made me much more self aware and passionate about all beings.
Working with dogs is always so lovely :)
I volunteer at Creative foundation watching over an older autistic woman who can't communicate with others who likes watching whats going outside and at least this way she isn't alone but I take care of her. Its hard because I used to having a hard time just sitting there but it has done me a world of good being patient