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Students give back to their community

Theresa Macdonald, Staff Writer
March 1, 2013

Students in the Grand View community volunteer their time in different ways to help those less fortunate than themselves.  From volunteering at the local homeless shelter, to mentoring the youth, students can get involved around the Des Moines area.

Allie Ruhland, psychology sophomore, said, “I have been volunteering all my life, it is something I grew up doing with my family at the local nursing home in Guthrie Center.”

Volunteering around Des Moines is easy to do; with the Viking Volunteers group on campus students are able to volunteer their time as well as talents with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army and even Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ruhland who volunteers at Iowa hospice, Mentoring through Serve Our Youth as well as a few other places, gets to experience a wide variety of people.

Alyshia Dobson, criminal justice freshman, said “I didn’t start volunteering until after my house fire my sophomore year of high school. We lost everything and I was put into the situation that people I volunteer for now go through.”

Dobson, volunteers at local homeless shelters, the American Heart Association and is a member of Viking Volunteers.

“One experience that really stuck with me was when I volunteered at the homeless shelter, an older gentleman told me that he liked going there because he knew that he would get something to eat and a warm place to sleep. I think about it when I say I’m cold in my house,

I remember there are people out there right now that are more cold and hungry than I am.” Dobson said.

Ruhland said, “Volunteering in Des Moines has been an eye-opening experience, just because the people are different than what I have been used to. I like the variety though and it definitely changes your perspective on life.”

By helping out those around you, students have the opportunity to see how blessed they are.

Ruhland said, “Just the people I have met through volunteering, is amazing. Being able to see their outlook on life when they have gone through so much is just amazing to me.”

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