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Memorable Volunteering: What it takes

Written By: Hannah Shin Ltg. of Division 5


I hailed down 4 cars, or so I tried. The people in two of the cars avoided eye contact and zoomed right by; another car had a set of very sweet looking grandparents unfortunately unable to speak English. I finally found luck with the last one.

Exhausted, I asked my question again, “Did you see a group of guys walking down this street from the opposite side?” They looked at me in silence for a solid two seconds and then gave a resounding “no”. Uh oh. We were cleaning the road from one end, and the guys were supposed to start at the other end so that we could meet in the middle.

For a while, the girls and I had actually had fun. We saw some cows mooing (and ran away), enjoyed the beautiful weather and the pink flowers starting to bloom, talked about random things for over an hour, laughed at the number of times we found tiny glass bottles of vodka on the road (which was interesting, to say the least), and became experts at finding the smallest pieces of trash buried deep in the crevices dirt ditches. It was only when we had cleaned more than half of the road when we realized that something was wrong. Turns out, the guys had actually turned back to the school after cleaning far less than half of the road. By the end, we girls had done 1.5 hours of road cleaning (… yay for “girl power”).

This was by far my most memorable Key Club service project out of all three of my years as a member. Sometimes, it’s that little whiff of stress that spices up the enjoyable parts of Key Club events, making it all the more memorable. Volunteering isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, it’s sweating a bucket-load to better the community, even if it’s something small like cleaning a local road. The hardship was what allowed me to further appreciate the direct impacts of my volunteer work, especially when I passed by the orange trash bags that we had filled to the brim!

Key Club is an amazing organization for the opportunities it provides. You develop leadership skills when you least expect it (hailing down cars was not in my comfort zone department), and you make friends with people when you least expect it (the girls and I held a special bond after “ranting” to each other about our ~little situation~).


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