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Benefiting More Than Just the Community. By Katie Nimtz (Ferris State University, PR Student)
Volunteering, the word sparks images of raking leaves on a senior’s lawn, packing lunches for local elementary school children, or walking dogs from the animal shelter who are looking for their forever home. Volunteering benefits everyone in the community, including yourself.
Volunteering is good for both your physical and mental health. The act of volunteering helps lower stress and anxiety levels, combats depression, and can lower blood pressure. Volunteering connects workers with others and leaves individuals with a feeling of being something larger than themselves. Volunteering can also help you discover passions and explore career ambitions.
Although there an hundreds of volunteer opportunities at Ferris State University, the two largest student volunteer initiatives are Relay for Life and The BIG Event. Both these campus-wide events promote students to get up and move. Individuals stay up all night walking and donating money during the Relay for Life event in memory or honor of close ones who have been affected by cancer. During The BIG Event groups of students work as teams to assist Big Rapids residence in their outdoor spring cleaning. Teams will do anything from bagging leaves, to cleaning gutters, painting fences, to picking up and breaking down sticks and tree branches.
Within the Big Rapids community there are opportunities to help over twenty-five local service organizations. Everything from stocking food pantries, assisting with the homeless shelter, tutoring school children, or using your creative side to help with local festivals and events. To discover meaningful volunteer opportunities or help with one of the large campus events, please contact the CLACS Volunteer Center at CLACS@ferris.edu or 231-591-2685. Taking the steps to helping others may be the right steps to helping yourself.