“Volunteering at the Russell Home”
by Katrina Gucwa, CCS Senior
At first, volunteering can be a nerve-wracking experience—where you don’t really have a background with the organization and don’t know what to expect. But once you start and continue volunteering, it can easily become one of the most rewarding activities that you’ve done.
I started volunteering at the Russell Home back in January of 2016, and I’ve been going back almost every week since. My first real introduction to the Russell Home was when Mrs. Stella gave me a personal tour around the property. The following week was when I volunteered in the classrooms for the first time. I was shy and quiet, but quickly felt at ease by the warm and happy greetings from the kids and teachers. I was able to help the kids individually with what the teachers were talking about for the day. By helping one-on-one, I was able to build relationships with them. Each week, I’d ask about their families or about what they had learned or created since the last time I saw them. Through these interactions, we became like family to each other.
Working at the Russell Home has been a true blessing for me. The whole organization has been very kind and welcoming to not only me, but to my family as well. I never would have had this experience if I hadn’t tried something new. I’ve not only grown as a person, but I’ve also learned a lot. I’ve learned about being kind to others, being flexible in circumstances, and being grateful for the little things in life.
Volunteering has been very rewarding, and I encourage others to step out and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!