Small Acts, Big Impact: Embracing the Power of Volunteering

by Surina Prem | Thursday, Mar 21, 2024

Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Harriet Tubman. What comes to your mind as I list these names? Humanitarian, benevolent, selfless? Those three people all made it their life purpose to serve and aid humanity. Their names and sacrifices will never be forgotten, nor the lives they touched along the way. Humanitarians are often imagined as people who dedicate their existence to saving thousands of lives. But what if there were smaller ways to create a positive change?

Volunteering has played a pivotal part in my life. I moved to Florida around a year and a half ago. I left behind most of my family and friends back in New Jersey. Throughout the duration of this difficult transition, I ended up isolating myself from the world. I spent most of the time hiding in my room. I had difficulties even going to the grocery store alone. I had low self-esteem and was too nervous to create new relationships. My mother suggested that I should start volunteering at local non-profit organizations in Jupiter. I was apprehensive to start volunteering because I felt inadequate to help others. My mother supported and encouraged me, which helped alleviate some of my fears.

It was the best decision I have ever made; I truly wouldn’t be the same person if I hadn’t started volunteering. It gave me a sense of confidence and purpose, which was something I hadn’t felt in a very long time. One of the most valuable things I have learned through volunteering is that love transcends our differences. I created many friendships with the people I have met through volunteering. Whether that was laughing with the students in ESL class at El Sol at night,  or packing groceries for seniors at Pearl Mae, I created deep and meaningful connections with other volunteers and directors of different organizations. I am eternally grateful for all those I have met in these organizations because they have impacted my life for the better. Engaging in more prosocial behavior can positively affect your mental health. Now, you don’t need to solve world hunger or world peace. One way to get involved is by volunteering at one of your local non-profits.

If you are in the Jupiter area, these are some of the wonderful non-profit organizations nearby:

  • The Pearl Mae Foundation
  • El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center
  • Edna W. Runner Tutorial Center
  • Loggerhead Marinelife Center

These organizations are always looking for an extra set of hands, so don’t be nervous to apply. You could be altruistic in many ways; it doesn’t have to be grand. Simply do small acts of kindness and incorporate them into your daily life. Bring someone you love a cup of coffee or buy them flowers. I know most of you are college students, so it doesn’t have to be monetary. You could hold the door open for random strangers. Genuinely give a nice compliment to the cashier at Publix. Those simple acts seem like such a small difference, but they could genuinely make someone's day. You may not change the world, but when you make a positive impact on one person, you can change their world. I implore you to open yourself up. You never know the beautiful people you will end up meeting.