Volunteering opportunities, left and right

When I found out that my program requires a certain number of hours of volunteer work during my experience as a one-year exchange student, I was elated, enthusiastic, and beyond thrilled. 

 I come from a community that cherishes volunteering and goes above and beyond to bring a smile to people’s faces. And I specifically mentioned how I wanted to give back to my community through volunteering when I applied for my exchange program. In fact, volunteering is one of the many things I am most passionate about. 

During my first week at BHSU, while still battling with jet lag and lack of sleep, I was worried I would not find anything to do with my days while waiting for the start of classes. But little did I know that the campus had a list of volunteer events happening and transportation to take us to whichever one we chose to do. Well, I did go, and I made friends while helping... how more convenient could that be? 

Aside from that, there are so many places one could volunteer: the fire department, the police department, the library, and the Parks and Recreation Center, which offers so many types of volunteering activities too!  

 If you prefer volunteering in animal shelters, there is Western Hills Humane Society, or even the DC Booth Fish Hatchery. I visited the last one more than once with friends, and I enjoyed the walk there. It has this sort of historical charm to the scenery that should not be missed. 

If you are into clothing and specifically shopping for clothing, then you will have a wonderful time volunteering in thrift stores, and there are many of them in Spearfish. To name a few, there is the Salvation Army of Spearfish, St Vincent De Paul thrift store near Main Street, and Treasure Island store too. I have tried volunteering in one of them and the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re helping those in need to have good clothes for both winter and summer weather is gratifying!   

And we are not done yet! There is a community food pantry on Yankee Street, and aside from that, there are churches that require volunteers sometimes, especially during the holiday season. 

If you are an exchange student who needs to complete volunteer hours as a requirement for your exchange program, just know that I was clueless in the beginning until the international office in BHSU suggested the ones mentioned above in this article. So, if you need guidance on this subject, you can go to the international office, have a warm drink that they always offer as soon as you walk through the door, and explain all your concerns!