It was one of the most positive experiences I have had in my life and one that I will take with me wherever life takes me next.
When I was in high school, I was enrolled in a program which led to my volunteering at one of the area hospitals. It was an experience I’ve never forgotten, and it was something I had hoped to do again some day. Three and half years ago, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and I remembered my experience, so I logged on the Bronson Battle Creek (BBC) website and filled out the volunteer application. I had no idea how much positive change it would bring to my life.
Due to other commitments, when I began volunteering, my schedule would only allow me to volunteer in the emergency department. I will never forget the first day there (December 26, 2014) and the feeling of accomplishment I had when my shift was over. I spent the day helping patients back to their rooms and getting them settled in. It felt so rewarding to help those most in need.
Someone saw potential in me, because in March of 2015, I was asked to be the volunteer chairperson of the emergency department. This not only meant I would be responsible for things like training and helping to recruit new volunteers, it also meant I would be a member of the BBC volunteer board. I was so honored – and also shocked. I had never been asked to be on a board before!!!!
It did not take me long to realize that this was an organization I was proud to be part of, and one that I wanted to do anything I could to help move forward. This was true, not only for the volunteer part, but for the hospital as well. I had met members of the leadership of the hospital, and they were very cordial and incredibly supportive of the volunteer program. You don’t get that everywhere.
After attending some board meetings and other events, I decided that I wanted to seek out a leadership role within the organization. I was very impressed by the people leading the volunteers, as well as the administration. So I approached the board president and then was chosen to be the president-elect of the board.
I was truly honored to be selected to not only represent the board, but to represent BBC as well. To that point, I had seen plenty of progress being made within the hospital and I was happy to share my positive experiences with anyone I talked with.
After a year as president-elect, I was given the title of president of the BBC volunteers. This was one of the best moments of my life and a tremendous personal accomplishment.
But it wasn’t something I did alone. Without the support and friendship of the other volunteers and BBC administration and employees, I never would have made it to this very important and honorable position.
My three and a half years volunteering at BBC have helped me out tremendously as a person and given me skills I never thought I would acquire – especially as a volunteer. My confidence level has risen and I am much more likely to speak up at meetings and in my personal life. I’m also hoping that the skills I learned during this time will translate into a wonderful career moving forward.
As a volunteer, I’ve met many people who I will call friends for the rest of my life. It’s been a great group of people to be a part of, and to represent, and it was one of the most positive experiences I have had in my life and one that I will take with me wherever life takes me next.