“Nothing but Nonstop Smiles”

A few positive outcomes of volunteering

Brandon Cardilino and Yadira Vico

“You’re going out of your way to show another kid, who’s seven or eight years old, that this is a place where it’s okay to be and there’s somewhere out there for [them],” said Oxnard High School senior Cody Honea, who volunteers at Royal Family Kids Camp.

Volunteering for the first time can be a bit intimidating if one does not know where to start. However, once one begins to volunteer the experience becomes less intimidating. “I was volunteering initially to feed the less fortunate and when I saw all of the little kids running around in the alleyway amongst unsavory characters, I decided that I wanted to provide a positive role model and also a positive learning environment,” said senior Paulina Nava, who volunteers at the Ventura County Rescue Mission.

Senior Julissa Murillo, who also volunteers at the Ventura County Rescue Mission, volunteers there because “[she] gets to be in that position to help the little kids and kind of be their mentor, in a way, and give them advice.”

For senior Jayda Bell, who volunteers at the Casa De Vida rehabilitation group home and Strawberry patch daycare, volunteering is a way for her to help and meet new people. “The atmospheres at both places are extremely welcoming and warm hearted; with nothing but non stop smiles and laughter,” said Bell.

Bell also said, “My favorite part about volunteering at CDV (Casa De Vida) is helping people out with their problems and making them smile. At strawberry patch my favorite part is playing with so many kids with wonderful personalities and teaching them things that they’re seeing for the first time. It makes me feel good when they learn things that I taught them.”

Volunteering for some people is about helping out and giving their assistance whenever they are able to. “I’m a junior counselor. I pretty much help the kids. I play with them. I hang out with them. If they have any issues or something they need to talk about, they come and talk to me about it,” said Honea.

However, for Nava, volunteering not only helps others but helps her as well. “It’s so much fun and as much as the children learn through science experiments, games, and arts and crafts, I myself am also learning key skills and gaining unique experience that I can carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Nava.