When your passions and goals happen to align perfectly with a service you are able to freely give to people (or animals) who seek them out, it almost feels more selfish than selfless.
That’s how I have felt about any instances of volunteering my time during this passed school year.
I have been a martial artist since the age of four. I don’t remember much other than that I needed to keep progressing in any style I could. Now, at the age of 21, I still feel the same way. The main difference in four-year-old Kalie the one that exists now is that other people have deemed me knowledgeable in matters of self-defense to teach them. I’ve written countless times about how amazing it feels to offer this knowledge to people but this year involved something new. I was asked by several individuals to teach them techniques throughout the year. I was more than happy to be able to practice while also sharing things that I think everyone should familiarize themselves with.
As much as I loved helping people help themselves in this way, I think the highlight of teaching this year had to be when my old roommate, Pattalina, asked me to teach a full on seminar here at CMU for the Sigma Kappa ladies. Of course, I had taught seminars before and made decent money. However, as soon as Pat contacted me I knew this seminar was priceless. It was my first real class size (although there was way more than a few of them) that I was teaching in Mount Pleasant. On top of that, it was a large respected organization affiliated with the school. The opportunity to take such a large step in overlapping my future with my passion was amazing and all of those young ladies had great energy and were very gracious.
My second way to spend my time this year consisted of the Running Buddies program for walking or running with shelter dogs to keep them happy, healthy, and socialized. I have to admit though–this may be considered volunteering I can pretty confidently say all the buddies do this mostly for themselves. Even though any dog could easily steal my heart, I made a great connection with a very energetic mix named Hank. He had the biggest smile a dog could smile and was unable to contain his excitement (pure energy) to get out on the town for a bit. Riley and I picked him up and he immediately left his designated spot in the back seat and established a place on my lap. Just to put this into perspective, Hank was full grown (NOT lap dog size) and took up far more surface area than what my lap could offer. He gave us lots of kisses and hugs until we could finally wear him out by taking him all over campus. He even had a special stop at the LI to water the flowers (sorry everyone).
And since I know some of my readers will want this: here is a link for learning more about being a volunteer for Humane Animal Treatment Society- http://www.hatsweb.org/volunteer 🙂