Pay It Forward: Volunteering Opportunities

By Brittany Smith

From a young age, we are taught to watch what we say because words have the power to affect people’s lives. However, actions are far more powerful than any word. By volunteering, you can help other people and make a difference in the community through actions.

“Volunteering and donating are perfect chances to help make a difference,” said freshman Emma Smith.

There are infinite ways that students can help out. Take a couple seconds out of your day, volunteer, pay it forward, and change a life. Here are three, unique volunteering opportunities available to students in the community:

Loudoun Inova Hospital:

Blood and open wounds scare a lot of people, but if you can tolerate it, you should consider volunteering at Inova Loudoun Hospital.

Not only does volunteering at Inova Hospital give students the chance to volunteer in an actual work environment, but it can also encourage the thought of pursuing a medical career. Volunteering at Inova means you are prepared to help with patient care support, public interactions, and administrative support. Although volunteering doesn’t require any medical interactions with patients, volunteers still get the chance to work with patients and their families by providing comfort and non-medical assistance.

To volunteer you have to be a student over the age of 16 and fill out a “Volunteer Program Application” that can be found on the Inova Hospital website. When you sign up, you are committed to record at least 40 hours of volunteering within 6 months.

Loudoun Interfaith Relief (LIR):

Loudoun Interfaith Relief supplies clients and people in need with both perishable and nonperishable food items. In the past year, 1.2 million pounds of food was distributed to over 70 families per day, serving about 13,000 individuals.

Volunteers have to be at least 13 and must volunteer with an adult if they are younger than 17. Once LIR matches the talents you wrote in your application to their needs, they will call you and schedule an interview.

Depending on your availability and skills, you can help in three different areas: Grocery planners help pack food orders to be distributed to clients, sorters organize the food orders and find out which clients need what items, and drivers help pick up the food.

Humane Society of Loudoun County (HSLC):

HSLC is an organization that rescues and cares for neglected, abused, and abandoned animals. The organization works to minimize the amount of neglected animals and to establish Loudoun County as a no-kill community.

Prior to volunteering, volunteers must read and fill out a Volunteer Handbook found online, as well as attend an orientation and training class. You can sign up online under the “Volunteer” tab and choose how you are willing to help. Volunteers can help with the adoption process, rescue partnerships, public relations and community involvement, fundraising, and other various areas. The Humane Society of Loudoun County is in desperate need of pet food, cat and dog beds, and animal toys. Donating items on the HSLC wish list helps keep the sheltered animals healthy, happy, and feeling loved.