Central Michigan University offers a variety of programs to allow students the opportunity to get involved with the Mount Pleasant community. Of their many service programs, Service Ambassadors is an organization that takes small groups of students to different locations in the Mount Pleasant area to work on a variety of service projects. All semester I had heard of this program, and was really interested in seeing what they were all about. Last Friday, I finally had the opportunity to volunteer with the organization.
What I learned while volunteering with Service Ambassadors, is that every one of their service projects incorporates the terms “educate,” “serve,” and “reflect.” At the beginning of the trip, a group leader highlights the mission of the organization they will be working with, and their responsibilities for the day. After learning about the organization, it is then time to start working on the project. Once the project is complete, students head back to CMU to reflect on their day as a Service Ambassador. This is when everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts on the project, what they might have learned, their favorite part of the day, how they believe they impacted the community, and so on. Doing these three things (educating, serving, and reflecting) gives more meaning to the work being done in the community.
The project I had the opportunity to work on was through the Foster Closet of Mount Pleasant. The Foster Closet’s mission is to provide free clothing, shoes, toys, baby equipment, and furniture to foster children who are in need. There are 21 of these closets located across the state of Michigan, and each one of them has the same mission. All of the items in the closet are either new or slightly used, to ensure the children can walk away from the closet feeling special.
During my time at the closet, I had the opportunity to sort through many piles of clothing that would eventually be displayed in the closet. I was told to organize the clothing by size and pick out which items should stay, and which items needed to be donated elsewhere. The entire time I was folding clothes, I could only think about how incredible it is for there to be organizations out there that help provide a better life for foster children.
I am so grateful to have been able to partake in this project. Working at the Foster Closet brought me back down to earth and has encouraged me to feel more grateful for the things I have in my life. Helping provide a child with the proper clothing to put on their back makes my heart so full. No child asks to be a foster child, so it is important to have organizations like Foster Closet to help them cope with their situation in a more positive light.
Community Service: 2 hours