An Unexpected Event in My Journey to New Zealand

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I came to New Zealand in order to find some adventure in my life, as there are so many things to do in the country furthest away from everywhere else. I had planned many things, including a trip around the country to do some landscape photography, since I fell in love with the beauty of New Zealand ever since I saw the original Lord of the rings movie. But things didn’t go as planned, somehow I ended up doing something more worthwhile and more fulfilling, it was not that I didn’t get my adventure nor did I lose the opportunity to take the photos I wanted, I just ended up finding something more.

I’ve always been the type to plan things out in my life, and follow it to the letter, but that trip was an exception to my rule I guess. It all started with a bag, which I really thought was mine, though upon inspection it was definitely not. Though it might have been a more interesting story to tell if I the whole bag switch thing was long and almost dramatic, but no, the person who owned it was just beside me. She was a young Australian girl, I am not really fond of giving out the names of people, so for now let’s just call her Sheila, and if you know a little something about Australia you would know that I just made a little joke. Let’s get back to the story though, she was quite the beauty, but since we’re not in a movie and this isn’t some love story in a novel, she was of course with a guy. I apologized for taking her bag and gave it to her, she was cool about it and pointed out that my bag heady our way, as it looked just like hers. I thanked her and we got to talking on our way out, it seems that they were volunteers of some sort and was headed to do some work for the organization they were with, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

They day started out good, I met a beautiful girl, though it might have been better if I got her email or something, though I thought that maybe it was just not meant to be. I hurried as I had to go meet the friend that invited me to New Zealand and I was late. He had offered to pick me up at the airport, but I wanted to feel my first steps in the country to be my own as a start of an adventure, the country was ranked one of the safest in the world anyway so I had nothing to worry about.

After about an hour of being lost, I finally found the meeting spot and greeted my friend in the flesh for the first time, it might seem a bit rude to make a person wait for that long, but I already told him that I would be late, as I would challenge myself with traversing a country and city that I have never been, and he was cool with it as he just wanted to chill at the spot anyway, and that he was waiting for a few other friends as well. It was then that I heard a familiar voice from behind me, it was the girl from the airport (and the guy with her).

It was a pleasant surprise to know that she and my friend knew each other, not only that they were part of the same volunteer group. A far less pleasant surprise was, even though my friend invited me to New Zealand to also have some fun, it was also his goal for me to join with that week’s volunteer effort. Well, truth be told it was quite a pleasant experience, the volunteer work I did made me feel like I did good. And as a plus I met Sheila, and her cousin (the Guy with her).

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Maybe one day I will tell you guys the rest of the story, but not today, I can tell you this though; someone one lived happily ever after. 😉

Volunteering For Energy Efficiency Awareness

Improper and excessive use of energy significantly impacts our environment. The continued use of non-renewable energy releases harmful gasses that result in climate change that we are experiencing today. Countries everywhere in the world are doing their share to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gasses, but until the use of renewal energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal power is widely utilized, its positive effect will seem negligible.

Energy consumers, such as basic households, should be educated on how to use energy efficiently. Although industries are considered as the biggest consumer of energy, through collective involvement, the smart consumption of energy from the households will create a significant impact.

We were inspired by the volunteer activity of a group in Atlanta. On MLK Day this year, several cause-oriented groups joined forces for the 7th annual Energy Efficiency Street Teams. The team aims to spread the word on energy efficiency as part of the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. A report revealed that the underserved community in Atlanta suffers highest energy cost in the country, resulting in massive amounts of money spent on energy as opposed to other cities in the United States.

Aside from giving energy and water saving tips, the group also distributed energy efficient light bulbs to be used in their households. Each home should also be aware that electric repair service can help ensure energy efficiency in the household.

Electric Repair service will prevent leakage of electricity in faulty wirings. A licensed electrician may be contracted to provide electric repair services such as repairs, energy audit, and overall inspection of your electrical installations.

We saw the potential of this volunteering program and plan to join similar events next year. Aside from this, we also learned that there is an organization that offers comprehensive energy efficiency training to their volunteers for a minimum cost.

The organization also provides volunteering activities to it their volunteers to enhance their skills. The training will equip the volunteers with skills to perform essential energy and water efficiency works such as:

  • Using foam tapes and caulk to seal air leaks around doors, windows and electrical switch.
  • Installing gaskets for electric switches and outlets.
  • Replace incandescent lights with energy efficient alternative such as LED lighting.
  • Installing flow restrictors in toilets flush.
  • Replacing regular shower heads with low-flow variety.

Once the training is completed, the members and encouraged to join activities to practice their new found skills and help the community. Here are the common events that the volunteers participate in.

  • Learning sessions with the residents – The volunteers visit low-income communities to spread information on energy-saving methods. They also distribute energy efficient bulbs to replace the ones used in the community.
  • Community outreach – The volunteers help in the preparation and implementation of the organization’s events and programs that provide energy and water conservation lessons.
  • School lectures – The volunteers conduct talks in school to reach the younger group and educate them on energy efficiency.

We were so inspired by this volunteering activity especially the learning sessions. By having this kind of education sessions, it will ensure that the work is not only the responsibility of the volunteers but the entire community as well.

Looking for Volunteers to Help Exterminate Pests

Volunteering is a worthwhile use of your extra time. You get to work with like-minded people who want to make this world a better place to live in. It is even better if the volunteer activity you are joining is something of your interest.

Another fun volunteering activity has entered our radar, and we are very excited about it. It is volunteering for pest control jobs. Expansive places, such as forests, coastal areas, and farms require many volunteers to complete minor pest control jobs.

You do not need to be skilled at pest control to join. The non-profit organizations who facilitate these activities, with the help of pest control professionals, will brief you on the safe and proper application of pest control. The methods employed are completely safe for the volunteers and the environment.

At some point in our lives, we saw how pest control workers do their job. They are well-trained to get rid of pests at homes and commercial establishments using specific tools, chemicals, and methods. We only need to call them when we see critters infesting our properties, and our pest problems will be solved. Volunteering would be a great opportunity to have a taste of what their work is all about.

Within our communities, there is a need for extra pairs of hands to set up non-chemical pest control, such as baits and traps, to cover a large area at the shortest possible time. Since the pest control method employed is non-toxic and relatively easy, volunteers are enjoined to do the work. Training will be conducted by a qualified personnel to brief everyone on the proper and safe use of pest control materials.

In Denver, there are farms that invites volunteers to help in pest control activities. Aside from that, you can help in planting, weeding, trellising, pest control, mulching, harvesting, and care for animals. It is pretty much doing farming work, but the benefit you get is priceless. You get an opportunity to get your hands dirty and be reconnected with the land. You also get a new appreciation of nature and the bounty we get from the soil.

Another way to help is through animal pest control. This volunteer activity is usually available in reserve areas, such as forests and coastlines, in your area. Several activities require volunteers to help set baits and traps along trails where pests abound. The job may also require clearing of traps.

Again, you do not need to be a pest control worker to volunteer for these activities because you will be given training before the project. All you need to have is a physically fit body to conquer the long walks to complete the activities and a bit of savvy to learn the pest control procedure fast.

The volunteer event organizer will advise you of anything that you need to bring. But usually, the organizers will provide the materials to be used in the activities.

We hope that you give this volunteer activity a try. The event will bring you closer to nature and provide you with new insights in conserving and taking care of our environment.

How Our Carpet Problem Gave Us New Volunteering Ideas For Kids

We have just completed our volunteering activity at one of the abandoned children’s shelters in Utah. It was a momentous event attended by volunteers from all walks of life. There were kids and their parents and some professionals who spent their weekend to make a fun outreach activity with the shelter kids.

We conducted fun learning activities with the children. We also played outdoor activities, popping water balloons and just being silly. The volunteer kids enjoyed the event as well. It was difficult coordinating the activities, but the smiles on the shelter kids and social workers were enough rewards for us.

Now, it could have been perfect if not for the dirty carpet in the office. We were so tired from the activities that we failed to notice the mud tracks we left on the carpet. The stain was very visible; it was hard to ignore. We tried to rub off the stain with water, but it made matters worse. The stain spread even more, and the carpet strands look like they were going to come off. We also discovered other stains and dirt that we did not notice before.

To avoid further damage, we decided to hire a professional carpet cleaner to treat our soiled carpet. We got the information and set an appointment on their website. The carpet cleaners arrived on time and cleaned our carpets. The result was stunning! Our carpets look like new. It is definitely cheaper to have professional cleaning than replacing the entire carpet.

Now that we are no longer troubled by the carpet issue, we had a time to put on our thinking caps to come up with more volunteer activities to help kids in our community. Here are some ideas that we love.

Playtime

We noticed that the kids could get bored with the usual toys and games that they do in the shelter. Instead of just donating toys, we can give educational toys or costumes and play with the kids at the same time. There is a big difference between just giving toys and bonding with the kids while they are playing.

Field Trip

This is my favorite idea because it is a moment for children to explore the world around them. It will be fun to bring kids to amusement parks and museums for kids to let them experience it. It might be pricier, but the memories gained from experience will be priceless. We are yet to discuss this idea with our partner shelter because there might be some restrictions on getting the kids outside the shelter.

Book Reading

It will be like a pajama party where the volunteers can have the activity done just before the bedtime of the kids so that they can read good night stories to the children. Storytelling before going to bed is one of the fondest activity shared between mom and kids. Maybe, shelters could add this to their day-to-day operations so that the kids will not miss the event when the volunteers are not with them.

Do you have other fun activities in mind? Please let us know by typing in your comments. Let us make more happy memories with the kids.

Practicing Volunteerism for Mother Nature

forestBeing aware of the different issues of the world such as hunger, poverty, and corruption starts the burning desire to help those who are in need. Finding ways to help lessen and stop these problems can be done even through the smallest actions and do not really cost too much money or extra time. That is also the same with taking care of the environment. The environment is the habitat and source of resources of countless organisms, including human beings, so there is a need to take care of it as much as possible. Volunteering to take care of Mother Nature can be done in our own homes, backyards, and cities. Here are several ways to take care of our environment:

 

  • Practice the 5Rs. The abbreviation 5R means Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle—this is the improved version of the 3R rule of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Managing biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and recyclable materials efficiently is a big step towards improving the world’s environmental conditions. Informing other people about the 5Rs can also help achieving a global action for saving the environment.
  • Buy CFC and HCFC-free appliances. There are many appliance companies who manufacture their products at the most eco-friendliest way possible, without making the consumers’ wallets suffer. Replacing old appliances with these CFC and HCFC-free ones can lessen the damages on the ozone layer.
  • Use eco-friendly chemicals. People can start saving the environment by volunteering to ditch their favourite but harmful chemicals for eco-friendly ones. A particular environmental protection community in Denver encourages the use of organic and eco-friendly hair sprays, paints, pesticides, and fuels.
  • Engage in tree planting. According to environment activists, people should plant ten tree seedlings for each tree cut. It can take even a decade or so to make a tree grow to its full growth, and there is also the chances of the seedlings to survive the growing process with all the natural disasters that happen around the world. As of now, only a few people engage in tree planting, thus the need to take action on convincing people to plant.
  • Oppose community projects endangering ecosystems. Sometimes, businessmen propose community projects that harm different ecosystems, but are proposed for the expected profit. These projects must be opposed to prevent countless organisms to die or lose their own habitats.

 

Doctors of Utah Unite and Volunteer to Fix Cleft Palates of the Third World

  I have observed that Doctors of Utah, specifically those in the field of plastic surgery, are extremely talented in their field. I have seen the beauty and symmetry they chiseled from the marble that is their patients. And though I adore their creations, and applaud their talent, I would like to suggest that hey also share their gift to those who could never dream to be treated by them. I am not forcing them, they could think of it as an exotic business trip and vacations.

Why Do This?

I am not asking those who are just starting out and still have little to nothing in their pockets to forget about profit, unlike some people who think profit to be “evil” I think it is a necessary incentive and source of funds to develop any industry and the betterment of human life. The people I call upon are those who have already made a mark in the First World, it is time to go to the Third Worlds and leave a mark there, that may become the beacon of inspiration that many needs to uplift themselves and their community.

If not forced, the feeling you get from helping a community out is so beautiful that you allow yourself to grow as a person and as a doctor to the point where profit becomes as a secondary thing, not forgotten as important, but treated as a residual outcome from fulfilling your duty of uplifting human lives and dignity.

 

How to Start

You’ve already started, just from searching or clicking something that lead you here tells me that you are looking for a way to give back to the community and world. But if you would like to really start doing more for the world I encourage you to search on, as there are many organizations that would welcome your help. What is essential though is finding the right organization that you could truly do the most good, as if they utilize you somewhere your true talents are not use, you may be helping, but not to the full extent of your abilities.

 

Finding the Right Fit

 volunteer-doctorsIf you are looking for an organization to join that could utilize your talents in plastic and cosmetic surgery, you should make it clear that that is the services that you want to give, that though you are open to helping out with other medical procedures they should utilize what you are good at. Operation smile would be one example of an organization that would be able to truly utilize skilled plastic surgeons. But in order to truly find the organization that you are truly in sync with is by looking at their Visions and Goals, and if they match yours in one way or another, you might have found the one.

 

Conclusion

IF you are compelled to give back to the community with your skills, do so with the passion you had to reach your current position. And when it comes to working with an organization, you must have the same vision and goals as them, and make it clear to them that you are willing to help in other ways, but you would like them to truly use your talents to better the lives of people.