Amazing volunteering opportunities in Harford County

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Amazing volunteering opportunities in Harford County

Bel Air United Methodist Church is a church in Harford County. Each summer it holds a camp called Vacation Bible School to teach children about the Bible.

Bel Air United Methodist Church is a church in Harford County. Each summer it holds a camp called Vacation Bible School to teach children about the Bible.

Aimee Wilson

Bel Air United Methodist Church is a church in Harford County. Each summer it holds a camp called Vacation Bible School to teach children about the Bible.

Aimee Wilson

Aimee Wilson

Bel Air United Methodist Church is a church in Harford County. Each summer it holds a camp called Vacation Bible School to teach children about the Bible.

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Volunteering is beneficial for a variety of reasons, but the feeling you get after volunteering, knowing that you made an impact, is what really makes it worth it.  Aesop once said “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  Volunteering may prepare a person for their future career, especially if they aren’t sure what they want to do.  In a poll taken by projecthelping.org 76% of people who volunteer say volunteering has made them feel healthier, whether that’s mentally or physically.  96% of those people say it gives them a sense of purpose.

In Harford County, there are many opportunities for teens to volunteer around the community, one of which is being a junior volunteer at Upper Chesapeake Hospital.  If you are interested in a career in the medical field, or just want to see what it is like to work at a hospital, the junior volunteer program is a great option.  Arooj Safdar, a junior at Patterson Mill High School, has been a volunteer at Upper Chesapeake for a year and a half.  She started because she wants to pursue a career working in a hospital and says it has helped her “because it showed [her] how nurses take care of their patients, and the hospital itself.”  Arooj helps by giving patients water, cleaning their equipment, and organizing their papers.  She shared that after volunteering, she feels “good to spend [her] time in a helpful way.”

Another great program to volunteer at is Vacation Bible School (VBS), a camp at the Bel Air United Methodist Church.  Emily Zinner, another junior, has helped at VBS for the past four years. Before volunteering, she attended the camp for many years.  Vacation Bible School is a one week program every summer that helps young kids learn about the Bible through fun activities and crafts.  Emily says, “after a week spent at VBS, I feel really excited and ready for it to be the next year.  I realize how much fun it really is by the end of the week.”  Vacation Bible School boosts the mood of everyone involved and by the end of the week, everyone has a big smile on their face.

Anna’s House is provides housing for families fleeing domestic abuse or other life issues, and offers all ages a chance to greatly impact the community through different volunteer activities.  Every Monday and Thursday, Anna’s House holds a Children’s Center, where teens can watch and play with the kids while their parents are in a life skills class. Teens can also volunteer by mentoring a child.  Every week the teen meets with a kid living at Anna’s House, helps them with their homework, goes to a movie, etc., and must commit to this for at least a year.  Jennifer Crosson, the Volunteer Coordinator at Anna’s House says “volunteers can have a huge impact on the life of our kids.  They can teach kids so much just by modeling appropriate behavior.  Through this program our kids learn that they are loved by so many and that they matter.”  An anonymous source living at Anna’s House explained, “I am thankful to Anna’s House for helping me to learn that life is what you make it.  Through the help of Anna’s House and its staff and resources, my chances of making it has gotten a whole lot better.”

Not only does volunteering boost your mood and confidence, it has also been proven to stop or lesson the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses.  It gives the person a schedule to follow, and makes them feel accomplished and needed.  Volunteering gets the person to be productive and confident in themselves. 78% of volunteers surveyed say its able to lower their stress level, because it gives them a chance to leave their worries behind and relax for a while.

Kaitlyn Wilson(junior) in her uniform for volunteering at Upper Chesapeake Hospital. She has been volunteering at the hospital since last summer and plans on continuing.

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