“You’re doing work, but it doesn’t feel like work. You laugh, you have a positive memory, and you build a friendship,” said Advisor Mendie White.
TWU’s Helping Hands Service Ambassadors is a community service organization that pioneers countless service projects each semester. White and a few of the Helping Hands student directors reflect on past service projects, discuss the impact of community involvement, and encourage students to join them in lending a helping hand.
White said, “We try to have a variety of projects that suit different skill sets, interests, and abilities. We’ve done everything from volunteering at an elementary school, to homeless shelters, to nursing homes, to nature centers.”
Helping Hands has volunteered with the Denton Stream Clean, Mobile Food Pantry, North Texas Food Bank, Great American Cleanup, Dallas Life, and countless other service oriented organizations.
Director of Special Events Alexus Petty explains, “I think, for any college student, its good to volunteer because we’re so wound up in our own busy schedule. It’s just taking the time out to go volunteer and getting that warm fuzzy feeling of ‘Hey, I just did something really great, and it had nothing to do with getting an A or getting credit for a class.’”
According to the board of student directors, being a part of Helping Hands comes with countless rewards. Director of Service Projects Jazmine Beadle said, “Seeing the impact on the community and hearing people say, ‘Thank you, we couldn’t have done it without you guys,’ just touches my heart.” White added, “I think its neat, as an advisor, to see the students gets excited about service. They’ll come back from an event and they’ll be…really happy about the impact they were able to make or the bonds they were able to forge as a group.”
Through Helping Hands, volunteers have the opportunity to see the impact of their work first hand. White said, “I think any time that we do some of the major clean up events and you can see the volume of trash that was picked up, you can also see what a big, tangible impact you had just from the couple of hours you were there.” Director of Education and Advocacy Hannah Meyer added, “You’re directly interacting with the people who you’re serving.”
The Helping Hands board encourages ample student involvement. “I think what’s most important is being a middle-man for students who want to volunteer but don’t…have the transportation to do so,” said Petty, “They’re a very welcoming group. If you see any openings and want to apply, don’t feel hesitant.” Director of Marketing Christine Haskell added, “The bigger the group, the more you can do and the more people you can reach.”
General meetings take place on the first Wednesday of every month (Feb. 1, Mar. 1, Apr. 5) in SU 110 at 4:30. Students interested in information on upcoming projects can enroll in the Helping Hands Service Ambassadors organization on Blackboard to receive emails and announcements