YES Alumni, Nur Hasina has been volunteered 50 hours in two months (plans to reach 100 by the end). In this article, she shared a lot of values learnt from volunteering.
I came to the United States from Malaysia in January of this year. I have loved making new friends, learning about American culture, and experiencing another part of the world. But one of my most impactful experiences has been working with a local nonprofit. The nonprofit sends clothing to those in need in Ukraine and India. I help them sort and package the clothing. Items that are too big or are not appropriate are then donated to local ministries that distribute the clothing to members of the community. In the two months that I have been in America, I have already volunteered 50 hours, but my goal is to volunteer 100 hours before I return to Malaysia.
I believe volunteering is important because everyone has the right to live a happy life. Sometimes bad things happen, and I believe it is important to help people overcome their difficult situations. Sometimes that can mean being empathetic towards someone because having someone else understanding their experiences can be a relief for some. Other times that could mean giving them food, clothing, or other items that they cannot afford, but that shouldn’t keep them from having these essential items.
I have learned a lot from the people I work with while volunteering. They have showed me how to be a better person. I am impressed by their ability to persevere and stay patient while going through difficult times. They challenge me to be stronger, braver, and remain positive no matter what life may bring.
I have also learned to be more grateful. While I am volunteering, the people that we work with always say how much they appreciate our help. The gratitude they show opens my heart and encourages me to savor each gift that comes my way. It teaches me to be less guarding of my possessions and less jealous of the things others have. Gratefulness is a sign of strength in everyone, and the people I help while volunteering are some of the strongest people I have ever met.
One thing that volunteering has taught me about myself is that I should continue to work on being kinder to others. Sometimes I am selfish and can get angry. But I realize how important it is to be kind and empathetic towards others, even when I am going through a difficult time. Imagine if everyone work on being kinder and more compassionate towards others; this would change the world. From my volunteering I have found that I derive immense happiness from helping others. One of my favorite sayings has become, “No matter how small, an act of kindness never goes unnoticed.”
When I return to Malaysia in June, I am going to work on getting my peers to volunteer more. In Malaysia, during the religious holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan, people give food and money to the less fortunate. But I want to promote the need to help others throughout the entire year. I will explain to my friends and colleagues the impact one person can have in a community through volunteering.
There are a lot of children who are in need in my community, and I want to organize a club called “Help the Children” to provide assistance to them. I can get more people involved by partnering with other clubs who work on other issues. Through my actions, words, and club I hope to show my peers that volunteering is something we should do everyday, not just on the holiday.
In conclusion, volunteering has been one of the most impactful experiences I have had in the United States. I have been inspired by the people I have worked with, learned to be more compassionate, and realized that even one person can make a big impact. I will continue to work in my community to help those in need and to promote better values. All that I want is to see is for everyone to be cared for and loved.
Nur Hasina (YES’16)