Volunteering at United Caring Services Gave Junior Emily Bonenberger a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Agency and How it Serves Area Residents

By: Emily Bonenberger

At the beginning of March, MARCOM (TAC’s Marketing & Communication Committee) held a committee service event at United Caring Services, where we planned and made a meal for the residents. While planning where we would do our service event, I remembered serving at UCS in the fall for school and how much it impacted my understanding of how important it is to serve in your community. I suggested serving there because of how this could impact my fellow members of MARCOM by serving those who are experiencing homelessness and are in need of other resources.

While at UCS, we made peanut butter sandwiches and chicken noodle soup. We divided into sections, consisting of a group that made the sandwiches and a group that made the soup, but we all worked together to make this meal. After making the meals, we created an assembly line to set up trays, and we developed a system of how we are going to serve those waiting for a meal. The trays consisted of a sandwich, a bowl of soup, crackers, and a dessert. We had a wide range of dessert options to choose from and we served a slice of cake, a brownie, or a cookie. While serving the food at the counter, we were polite and would smile and say something along the lines of “I hope you enjoy!” A sincere encounter with a stranger could change the whole mood of someone and make an impact that we would never know. The residents were patient and very gracious for our help in serving them dinner.

Since serving at UCS, I find myself a lot more grateful for the opportunities and blessings that I have in my life, but I also find myself wanting to make a continuous impact on others throughout my life. I believe the service opportunity that I had from volunteering at UCS and other TAC service events has led me to find a goal of mine that I hope to achieve throughout my life. I have also gained the insight that to make the most of a service opportunity, I cannot just go through the motions, but instead, I need to find a way to make the most of what I am doing and see how this is benefitting someone else’s life. 

Although I have served at UCS before, I learned more about the agency and the population it serves. I learned more about the resources they provide for people who are going through struggles in their lives, by providing a bed for shelter, personal hygiene products, and other services. UCS also has a day center, where those experiencing homelessness are welcomed into an environment of no judgment.

Volunteering is important to me because it allows for me to step back and let service be bigger than myself. I am very grateful to my TAC committee for agreeing to be part of this service opportunity because of the insight I have gained and the impact we had on others.

About the Blogger

Emily Bonenberger is a junior at Memorial High School. She has attended TEENPOWER and has been a TAC member for 2 years.