What started out as a class requirement has become something that has changed not only my perspective on individuals with varied abilities, but also my attitude towards life. Prior to working with Project R.I.D.E., I sweated the small stuff. Every little thing had to be perfect or my day was ruined. Seeing happy, laughing children who overcome daily struggles has really changed how I feel about my own problems. There are posters encouraging happiness and laughter throughout the arena that remind me to stop and smell the roses. Project R.I.D.E. is my "happy place," where my problems disappear when I volunteer.
In addition to promoting happiness, Project R.I.D.E. really takes time to emphasize the importance of its volunteers. This is part of the reason I keep coming back. The executive director, Tina, always stresses that lessons could not happen without volunteers to lead, sidewalk, and keep the arena tidy. Project R.I.D.E. makes its volunteers feel important and celebrates them at every opportunity. No matter how long I stay, I always get a big "Thank you!" at the end of each visit.
Project R.I.D.E.'s Volunteer Coordinator and Community Outreach Manager, Marisa, takes the time to get to know each volunteer and recognize their special talents. When I first mentioned to Marisa that I wanted to be an event planner, she quickly found me some great work experience in helping out with several of Project R.I.D.E.'s big special events.
Even though I have fulfilled my class requirement at Project R.I.D.E., I still plan to volunteer whenever the opportunity arises.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Find a new business to sponsor the vending machines or sell other snacks for volunteers. Create a mobile app or some other way to sign in for volunteer shifts. If I'm working in the office, I generally don't have a chance to get to the clipboard at the other side of the arena. A mobile app that lets you "check in" based on proximity would be really useful. It would also be a cool way to track the total number of hours that I volunteered!
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?