Over the past year I have really suffered from news fatigue on and off. A few weeks ago some piece of news started this spiral again and I just felt hopeless disbelief at the selfishness, corruption, racism, and pure evil in this country.
Part of the problem has been that due to the pandemic I haven't been around people much, so it was just this constant influx of crimes and corruption. So when I saw a post in the Columbus subreddit about a new volunteer group, Columbus Ploggers, picking up trash around the city, and the next event was just 20 minutes from my house, I decided that I needed to join to do some good and, most of all, be around people doing good.
Featured on the news!
This was the first time I went to an event and *gasp!* met new people in THIRTEEN MONTHS, so I was honestly really excited to go and pick up trash by the side of the road, haha. And I was right; the ten people that showed up were really nice and it restored my must-needed faith in humanity a bit.
Funnily enough a guy from Channel 6 showed up at this dingy parking lot and said that he'd seen the Facebook event and wanted to do a segment on us. And this was only the second event! He interviewed the organizer and filmed us working for a while, so that was pretty cool! Great coverage for the group that hopefully will lead to more volunteers!
After he left we kept working for about an hour and a half, finding everything from fast food wrappers to a tablet and unworn Nike sneakers. Then we gathered up and took a picture with our "treasures" -- if you don't have a progress picture, did it even happen? ;)
Pick the right volunteering opportunity for you
I haven't done much volunteering as an adult, although I did tons as a kid because my dad was the president of everything in our village and always signed me up for manning the hot dog stand, selling lottery tickets, and whatever else was needed and child-friendly at our events. So it wasn't so much volunteering as my dad told me to, but the principle stands! ;)
I actually looked into volunteering at a shelter a while ago, but you had to commit for a year with a set amount of days every month, and that sounded a bit intense for me. This is perfect since I can just join whatever event fits my schedule and location!
It is nice to have a pandemic-safe way to get to know some new people until I'm fully vaccinated, while doing something good and enjoying the spring weather at the same time. So if you're also feeling overwhelmed with the way the world is, check out some volunteer opportunities around you! It is a really positive experience and kind of guarantees you making awesome new friends! :)
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
Free mental health planner bundle!
Daily planner for anxiety, gratitude journal, self-care challenge, workout tracker, and more!
If you don't see the email, check your junk folder! It likes to hang out there. :)