A Season of Giving: Volunteering at Robins’ Nest

By: Alyssa Tritschler, Volunteer and Community Partnership Coordinator — Glassboro Family Success Center

It’s the holiday season…

During the holiday season, the debate of “is it better to give or receive” tends to arise frequently. What many people don’t realize is the possibility of both. It’s that gray area (or that red, green, or blue area around the holidays) that seems to surpass us — the idea that giving and receiving is not limited to material possessions but also time, talent, and experiences. At our six Family Success Centers, we are very lucky to have participants and volunteers who understand the meaning of both giving and receiving.

It’s a time to spread cheer and show others the true meaning of not only the holidays, but life and humanity. Without our tagline “transforming the lives of those we touch,” being spread through the community, it wouldn’t be possible to positively impact as many families as we have at Robins’ Nest. With our mission spreading far and wide in the community, we can positively impact more families. So how exactly can families give and receive the way our participants and volunteers have at our Family Success Centers?

Giving = Volunteering

The quote “to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world” says it all. All it takes is the offer to lend a helping hand to someone who possibly hasn’t received this offer from anyone else. People don’t always say they need help. They show it. By being that one person who asks how someone’s day is, if they are doing okay, or openly asking if a person needs help, you could become their light at the end of the tunnel.

“The Glassboro Family Success Center has given me a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and inspire them to pursue a career in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) field,” said our STEAM workshop leader.

Our STEAM workshop volunteer has led workshops at the center which bring families together by holding educational experiments and projects for parents, caregivers, and children to work on together. They have made their own bouncy balls from scratch, extracted the DNA of strawberries, and made their own paint. Our volunteer’s passion for science shows through her time volunteering at the center and encouraging our participants to follow by her example.

Our volunteers are driven and kind individuals who are always willing to share their time and talent with others. From leading workshops to assisting with set up and clean up, they never fail to step in and surpass our standards of excellence.

Receiving = Participating

You can always learn something new by participating in one of our workshops or in the daily life at each of our centers. Even our volunteers participate in each other’s workshops (hence, the ability to give and receive). Our Family Success Centers are common meeting places for members of the community to come together, speak with each other about similar experiences, and find a helping hand.

“The Glassboro Family Success Center is great! I just moved from North Jersey. I come to use the computer to find employment. The staff is awesome!” said one of our participants.

Asking for a little assistance can go a long way. It excites and motivates our staff when participants ask for help crafting their resume and come back a few days later to let us know they have been offered a position. By participating in our centers, you are allowing us to live out our mission.

This holiday season, remember that a little effort can help others succeed more than you imagine. You might as well, Santa’s watching…