An Introduction to Giving: Part 2

June 22, 2011 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

Yay, the last day of school! Students counting down the days, hours, and minutes till the bell rings indicating freedom. As kids in the Boston area and beyond reach this much anticipated moment, thoughts surround summer camps, beach trips, days at the pool, and vacations.

It is rare that you hear volunteering to be among the favorite summer past times. However, what better time to give back to your community than summer vacation when school and many extracurricular activities are out of the picture?

One of our Teen Leadership Corps members, Karly, reflects on her experiences volunteering with Cradles to Crayons (C2C). Maybe she will inspire you to fit a volunteer trip into your summer vacation plans…

Volunteering at Cradles to Crayons has been one of the most interesting, busy, funny, and unique experiences in my life. I heard about C2C through school, because I was part of the community service club called Helping Hand. Some of the older kids got to go to the Giving Factory and told me it was incredibly fun. Naturally, I thought “They’re so lucky. I wish I could go!” So, I gathered together my sister and my babysitter to make a trip for a 2 hour shift at the Quincy warehouse. We got to work in the Toy Factory (one of the best stations). We cleaned, sorted, and checked the quality of the donated toys. After our first time volunteering, we were very excited to come back. Ever since, I’ve experienced every single station, from sorting toys to going “shopping,” and even got the opportunity to lead groups and individuals during their giving experience.

I’m a member of the TLC, or Teen Leadership Corps. This is like being a teenage part-time member of the staff. I love doing service for the community because I know that I’m making a difference, even though it’s just one child at a time. I know that it will eventually add up. I love leading people as they create their own memories in the factory. It gives me a sense of importance when people see my purple shirt and name tag, and rush up to me with interesting questions. I also have gained a sense of confidence as I show people the ropes in different stations. It is great how much I have learned about the staff at C2C and the nature of a working environment. After being with the staff for so long, I am always excited to go to the factory for my shifts to be able to see them, and the others that are there a lot. Being in a working environment has given me amazing experiences that have prepared me to enter a real job when the time comes.

Although I understand the importance of full involvement in my work at C2C, there are some moments that I can’t help but laugh at. Like I said before, the Toy Factory is a great station. You never know what will spark a volunteer’s interest. One time, my group and I found a pair of toy light sabers. To put it simply, we had to fill the next five minutes taking turns having quick face-offs. Another time, somebody found a remote control. Most likely just messing around, they hit the forward button. In the giant mountain of donated toys, our group heard a mysterious whirring, and we later figured out the noise was the car that belonged to the remote control.

Volunteering at the Giving Factory is such a unique experience. I’ve been at Cradles to Crayons for at least 3 years. Through that time, I have turned from a slightly dusty toy cleaner to a strong teen leader, followed the factory from Quincy to Brighton, and grown from a quiet, shy girl to a confident and outgoing person. Through my work and C2C, I see how palpable a difference I can make in the community. I used to think that one person couldn’t change the world, but after I saw the number of toys I had cleaned, or the number of outfits I had made, I realized how untrue that thought had been. I feel that C2C is a great experience that has helped me grow as a leader, and helped me to learn how to think bigger and see the impact of small deeds in the big picture. Cradles to Crayons is not only a great way to help the community, but an amazing growing experience.”

Karly is an upcoming high school freshman and a member of the Teen Leadership Corps (TLC) at Cradles to Crayons. She enjoys being a leader while doing service for the good of the community. She loves how Cradles is an active way to help the community, while making you feel good about yourself. Visit our Giving Corps page on our website to learn more about TLC and the other leadership opportunities at Cradles to Crayons.

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Entry filed under: Boston volunteering, Community Involvement - Boston, Cradles to Crayons, family volunteering, Introduction to Giving, Volunteer Experience. Tags: , , , , , , .

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