On Senior Service Hours

On Senior Service Hours

Abigail Uganski, Reporter

As a senior myself, finding opportunities to complete 18 senior service hours was a struggle for me at the beginning of the year. I felt like there were many local places where I could help, but I didn’t know how to go about doing it or where to even begin. I found that the best thing to do was to look to my classmates to see how they were getting in their senior service hours, while also feeling like they were giving back to their community in a fulfilling way. I realized that there must be others that are in the same boat as myself, so I thought that sharing how others got their senior service hours might help those that need them this year or in years to come. 

I spoke first with Jaxson Berg, who stated, “I volunteered at the hospital over the summer and during the school year to get hours.” Jaxson plans to go into the medical field, so he felt like helping out in the hospital was a good way to help others while also participating in something that interested him. 

Ari VanderLaan, who has been an avid member of Rotary Interact since sophomore year, got the majority of her service hours by volunteering for the club. She said, “I returned cans for the Herman Miller can drive almost every Friday for a few months, and I spent a weekend volunteering at the Irish Festival.” 

Grace Pigott had posted a couple times on social media about volunteering at Pound Buddies, and it was evident how much fun she was having there. She said, “Once I turned 18, I knew I wanted to work with animals at a shelter because it’s good for both the animals and for me.”  

All the people that I talked to did not see the required senior service hours as work, but all felt accomplished about giving back to the community and learned things that they would not have known otherwise. Berg stated, “I love volunteering and thoroughly enjoy helping others. I also learned that some places run on volunteers, so to help means life or death of a business.” 

VanderLaan found that giving back became something more to her than just a requirement to graduate. She mentioned, “I will most likely do more service events up until I graduate, even though I completed my service hours in December.” She also advises future seniors to volunteer at the Irish Festival, saying, “Not only was it fun, but it was also an opportunity to meet a lot of people that like to help.” 

Pigott seemed overjoyed with the time that she was able to spend at Pound Buddies, stating, “I learned a lot, mostly that I just like helping the community. I already knew that I love working with animals and kids, but some of the activities I have done really solidified that. I honestly do it for myself just as much as for the puppies because it’s great for mental health.” 

Overall, seniors have found many different ways to get in their volunteer hours that personally fit them. I learned that giving back to the community is wonderful, but it is even more fun when you find something that really sparks your interest and makes you want to give back.