Volunteerism is a way we can all give back to our communities. Last week, a group I belong to, Quota International of Plantation FL, participated in two service projects in our community. Doing hands-on projects is a goal of our organization sets as it allows us to get to know our community and the impact our service projects have on the people who receive them.
The first project we participated in was Precision Mentoring. Precision Mentoring was founded by Felicia Brunson, a leader in the city of West Park, in Broward County. The group is designed to mentor young girls in the city of West Park. The mission for 2019 is to address prominent risk and protective factors that young ladies will experience in today’s society. The girls meet weekly throughout the summer. They participate in projects brought in by various volunteer organizations. Members of Quota International of Plantation, FL attended the last workshop of the year to meet the girls and assist them with their workshop. This workshop was titled Connectedness to the Community. Our Club donated snacks that the girls could enjoy throughout their meeting. We also were able to assist them in making comfort baskets for cancer patients. The girls brought supplies for the basked, and we helped them assemble them.
The guest speaker was Tenecia Sproull of the Pink Queen Foundation. Tenecia is a breast cancer survivor who started the group to pay it forward by giving back and assisting survivors of all cancer types by providing emotional support, comfort baskets, and hot meals. Instead of talking about her cancer experience, Tenecia asked one of the girls from the group to talk about her experience as a cancer patient. The young girl explained that as a child, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. She described her experience, its impact on her family, the challenge they had in finding a doctor who would treat her as the family had no insurance. She talked about the many school days she missed and how happy she was when her friends took the time to visit. Her talk was very moving, and all of the girls listened as their friend spoke and then embraced her once she finished.
After the presentation, the speaker did an exercise with the girls to identify the various cancer ribbons and what type of cancer they represented. Two girls were able to identify eight ribbons correctly and won a prize! The members of Quota were able to help the girls put together the baskets. Being involved allowed us to talk one on one with the girls, learn about their goals, how they liked school and some of the fun things they did this summer as part of the mentoring group.
It was an excellent experience for the members of Quota and the girls of Precision Mentoring. We hope to be able to do a project with them next summer. Quota International focus is doing services projects for the deaf and hard of hearing and women and disadvantaged children worldwide Two of our signature programs locally is providing scholarships and resources for deaf and the hard of hearing community and supplying New Born Baby Baskets for new moms from a local hospital in Broward county.
The second project we did was to buy backpacks and fill them with school supplies for Kids in Distress. One of our members brought this project to our attention and the Club voted to cover the costs of the backpacks and school supplies. Our members fund all of our projects, so we vote to approve each project at a planning meeting each year so we know what we have to bring in through our various ‘fund raisers’ that allow us to meet our mission.
For the backpack project, two of our members shopped for the backpacks and supplies. Another member opened her home on Sunday afternoon so we could assemble the baskets. Five members volunteered their time to stuff 50 backpacks. We had fun and took the time to catch up with one another. On Monday morning, several members went to Kids in Distress to deliver the backpacks. The administration was thrilled to get the bags as they have so many kids in need.
Another outcome of volunteerism is that those who volunteer gain confidence, find transferable skills and spark new interests, resources and opportunities. That is why people say, volunteering is part of our professional growth and development from childhood through adulthood.
Here are some photos of the two projects. Do you volunteer in your community? If so, please share by telling us about your project in the comment section so others can get new ideas to see ways they can give back! Thanks
Have a good week!