The Importance of Volunteering – by Kaitlyn Collier

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One of my resolutions every year involves some aspect of giving back to the community or volunteering. However, this year was different. This year, volunteering was already on my agenda. Last year, I began fostering puppies. I love it so much that I still volunteer with the animal rescue by fostering dogs or helping out with events. Every now and then you’ll see me bring a puppy to the Community Center to visit staff! The look on my co-workers’ faces when they see an adorable pup visiting them is priceless.

You may be wondering what volunteering and puppies have to do with the Community Center. Not many people know that we offer volunteer opportunities here at MPCC! Did you know that our coaches are volunteers? Most are going into their third year of coaching for the league! We also have a gardening club run by the Teen Center and volunteers. We also accept volunteers to lend a helping hand at all of our community special events!

Now an even better question would be “Why volunteer?” Volunteering not only helps your community and the people in it, but it helps build a sense of pride in your community, plus volunteering just feels good! Whenever I volunteer I feel absolutely amazing afterwards. Sure, volunteering may not sound as fun as watching tv or hanging out with friends after work, but trust me, volunteering is something special.

Volunteering can also help give you a sense of community by connecting you with new people who share similar interests. If you’ve volunteered before at one of our events, leagues, or other classes, how has it affected you? Seeing people enjoy the events or classes that you volunteer at should remind you how much you love your community!

So I challenge you to get out and volunteer. Help your community, whether it’s here at the Community Center, picking up trash at your local park, or spending time at a local animal shelter. Putting effort into your community will help you connect with it and the people living in it. Make a difference.

Kaitlyn Collier is the Special Events Assistant for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at k.collier@manassasparkva.gov.

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