Jeth's Experience at the Volunteer Fair

October 23, 2013

By , Student Intern 

Jeth Chng, Student Volunteer Center Fall 2013 Student Intern

Being an intern from the Student Volunteer Center has certainly been an amazing transformation for me, especially when I am here as an exchange student. It has been only a few weeks, but I felt I have learnt so much. Time really flies when you are enjoying yourself, and I am definitely living a busy but fulfilling life as both a UCSC student and an intern of SVC.

One of the highlights was definitely the Volunteer Fair held last week, whereby more than 40 organizations came to our fair to promote the spirit of volunteerism, as well as spread the message of giving and helping to prospective volunteers. On a chilly Wednesday morning, our team came down to the Quarry, carrying both our equipment and positive smiles. Firstly, we welcomed our volunteers who had made an effort to be there with us, and after several introductions, we got busy with our tasks at hand. Bringing out the tentages, we began to set up the tents around the open space. Just as we were done with that, the furniture truck came and we immediately began the tedious task of carrying tables and chairs to set up under the tentages. After almost an hour, with aching arms and tired smiles, we accomplished our task!

It was around 11am by then, and the organizations start to fill in. Our dedicated volunteers carried bottles, volunteer packets and their enthusiasm with them, as they interacted with the people of these organizations. Through this, we got to know the various organizations and their causes better. Along the way, we even became lunch delivery personnel, and facilitated the smooth transfer of lunch to the enthusiastic people manning the organization booths. It definitely brought a smile to my face to see the fair milling with people, most sparked with curiosity to know about the Volunteer fair and the benefits of it. At the end of the day, I was sure most of us left with a sense of satisfaction, as well as a better idea of how the volunteer organizations run their programmes.

This event was just one of many highlights during my current passage as an intern. Despite the long hours and effort I have invested, I am thoroughly satisfied with my internship experience thus far. Looking back, it was amazing to know how such like-minded people would band together to make SVC possible! Although there were no incentives dangling for me to join initially, I did so because like everyone else, I was motivated to serve, lead and learn more about volunteerism as a whole.

Before ending off, I would like to quote Andrea, our faculty advisor. She gave us an analogy, which I felt was befitting for everyone to know. We, the interns, are like people standing securely in a river waist-deep with water gushing down. We see someone drowning who is heading towards us, flailing and waving for help. Upon helping them over our backs, another person appears. As we continue saving these people, questions start to arise: Where is the source of this? Are people being pushed into the river? Or are people tripping into the river because of an obstacle? The conclusion is that the true meaning of volunteerism can only be achieved if one knows the meaning behind a particular volunteer cause. This can only be achieved when one is not only armed with the courage and motivation to serve, but also with the curiosity to enrich one’s mind about the cause and the intricacies that are running this cause.

Volunteering is definitely enriching and fulfilling, with the right mind, unyielding spirit and positive attitude!