Do Good in Your Neighborhood

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As students at ABAC, our place here extends past only being ABAC students. We are members of the South Georgia community during our time here at school.

We contribute to the economy by shopping at local stores and eating at restaurants. In addition, we impact the traffic, crime, housing, demographic, and employment statistics of this community.

While this may not be your hometown or your final destination after graduation, we as students have an impact while we’re here. This is your community. This is your current home.

As college students and young adults, we begin to broaden our horizons, expand our perspectives, and evolve our worldviews during our time in school.

We have the opportunity to branch out, try new things, and think outside the box as we see, hear, and learn more about the world around us.

Perhaps, some of us find that the world is a scarier, sadder place than we once thought. Maybe we question our purpose in life. Some of us might even see that there is a whole, new world that is, one that we had not imagined to exist.

We have the opportunities to accomplish new things, experience successes and setbacks, adapt better management skills, and most of all, learn from many lessons.

Who teaches us these things? How do these lessons come to fruition? The answer while not concrete or tangible is our community.

Our community is our new environment away from home. It is the one that produces many freedoms we have not experienced before venturing out into the world after high school and living at home.

If you’re an ABAC student, you might find that you have the community of Tifton to thank for all the new life experiences you have gained and continue to experience. Perhaps, in coming to this conclusion, you’d like to try and give back through volunteering.

If you’re a full-time student, this may seem like a bold or even impossible proposition. Before completely shutting down the idea, take time to consider the following assessments from Covey.org, a non-profit organization based in Wisconsin that has laid out the three top benefits of volunteer work for students. These benefits consist of bettering your health, making a mark, and building your resume.

For instance, with the high amount of stress that comes with being a college student, volunteering has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and emotional tension.

Furthermore, by helping others in your community, you gain a sense of pride for yourself and your community in knowing you did something that made a difference.

Lastly, by volunteering, you’re able to pick and choose when it best fits into your schedule while still being able to fill your resume and keep up with classwork.

If those three things aren’t convincing enough, consider the networking that is involved in volunteering.

When working as a volunteer, you get to show and polish your leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. You also make connections with other volunteers, event organizers, organization leaders, and other staff that you can keep in contact with for guidance and help with many other opportunities.

CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS: Tift County and surrounding areas are communities in need of volunteers. Whether you have a specific interest in mentoring at-risk youth, assisting underprivileged populations, helping solve child hunger or even offering companionship to man’s best friend there’s a volunteer opportunity for all.

Below is a list of organizations and causes that might pique your interest:

Peanut Butter and Jesus (PB&Jesus): Contact Tony McBrayer (229) 392-7774.

PB&Jesus is a local group here in Tifton whose mission is to help end weekend hunger for underprivileged children in the Tifton community. Meeting every Saturday, volunteers would have the opportunity to help prepare sack lunches from 7:30 A.M.-9 A.M. and help distribute the lunches from 9:15 A.M.-1 P.M.

South Tifton Learning Center: Contact Melanie Lester (229) 445- 8189.

STLC is a program dedicated to providing opportunities for school-aged children to learn and grow in a safe environment conducive to learning. Volunteers have the opportunity to mentor students struggling with reading and/or math, provide a supportive guide to developing vital physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and social skills.  STLC will reopen volunteer opportunities beginning mid-April.

Best Friends Human Society: Contact Reagan (229) 777-7774.

The Best Friends Human Society of Worth County is excitedly seeking volunteers to help with day-to-day tasks around the shelter. Volunteers would help maintain a safe and healthy environment for the dogs and cats sheltered at this facility. Dog walking, feeding, grooming, cleaning, and moving materials are just a few responsibilities they need help with. Upcoming events include “Shelter Improvement Day” on April 17 in which several volunteers are needed, in addition to an upcoming Adoption Event and the annual “Bark in the Park” event. They ask that all interested volunteers please call ahead of time to learn more!

Ruth’s Cottage/Patti Cake House Contact (229) 387-9697.

This organization serves as a victims of sexual assault advocacy, domestic violence prevention, and emergency shelter for women and children in need. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome. The only requirements to become a volunteer include an application and a one-hour volunteer orientation program.

Brother Charlie’s Thrift Store: Contact Barbett (229) 382-5540.

Brother Charlie’s thrift store serves as an extension of Brother Charlie’s Rescue mission. The mission, which serves local men experiencing homeless and/or in need of rehabilitation services, facilitates an environment for healing and self-sufficiency. Providing a safe and recovery-based environment at no cost to the men they shelter. The primary source of funding is earnings from the mission’s thrift store. Volunteers would have the opportunity to accept and sort the donations that come from the community, manage the store floor, and move inventory as needed.

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