BY NIKKI VERSANDI
Assistant Photography Editor
Every Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Student Center of County College of Morris, the Volunteer Club is steadily working to make the world a better place by helping as much as possible. On a routine basis, they work with nonprofit organizations to raise money and awareness for various causes.
Theresa Davis, a 20-year-old full-time student and Volunteer Club president, has spent most of her life working to help others and uses her lifelong passion to lead the Volunteer Club.
“I know so many different organizations, one example being Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society,” Davis said. “We helped them last year and they just love us; our club is so well-known throughout the organization.”
Davis has used her knowledge and history of volunteering to help push the club to new levels. Within the past year, the club has participated in a breast cancer walk, construction and park cleanups after Superstorm Sandy and saving animals from kill shelters among many other events.
“Our fundraising is very important to me, especially our bake sales because the best way to really help organizations is to fundraise,” Davis said. “I have a lot of techniques to raise a lot of money. We’ve risen over $1,000 in one bake sale.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, members gathered and created an array of baked goods to sell on campus for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and were working diligently to beat their $1,000 record.
“We get in the student activity packet and every time we see it, it makes all the hard work worth it,” Davis said.
The club is not only about helping others but also building strong connections among friends and creating a stronger sense of oneself.
“[In] the beginning of college I really wanted to make friends. I wanted to get to know and meet new people and to just have friends,” said Monica Ochoa, a 19-year old exercise science major. “There’s a lot of interaction with each other, and you get to know another person very well. Cause with volunteering, you’re doing it out of your heart, because you want to, not just because it looks good on a resume.”
Ochoa said she has met some of her best friends during her year-and-a-half venture with the club.
“You want to meet new people, go to new places, and that is what I’ve experienced so far and it’s phenomenal,” Ochoa said.
Participating in the club has turned Ochoa, a timid and shy person, into an outgoing and confident individual.
“I feel accomplished; I feel I’ve done something right, and I feel great about myself,” Ochoa said. “I’ve helped others and once I have that feeling I just want to continue to do better and just spread the love throughout the world.”
Ochoa is not the only member who has turned her passion into a positive impact on lives.
“I find that at least the community around me is warming up,” said Sachin Persaud, 21-year-old engineering science student and volunteer club member. “It could be for a lot of reasons, but I see a coming together, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a long time looming on the horizon.”
Persaud said how refreshing and uplifting it can be to help others. Being a full-time student, holding down a part-time job and being an active member of various clubs makes Persaud a busy individual.
But he still finds time to work with the club to plan events and projects.
“I was attracted to this club because I’ve always had a passion for helping others,” Persaud said. “This group gives me an outlet to team up with like-minded individuals and do just that.”