We love getting stories from our volunteers, especially when their experience is as unique as Mike Hrostoski’s. He’s spending the summer traveling the country with his brother, doing volunteer work along the way. Below, he recounts his experience volunteering with us.
What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?
It’s a question that my brother and I asked dozens of people over the past several months. The three responses we got the most frequently were:
- Spend time with family
With those intentions in mind, we created a summer project called A Summer To Serve. Think The Great American Road Trip meets the Peace Corps. We are driving across the country all summer doing volunteer work with individuals and organizations who could use a little help. As brothers that are 12 years apart in age, we look forward to growing as men and growing as friends.
We started our volunteering off in New York City through the help of New York Cares. As we’ve been trying to secure volunteer opportunities all over the country, we’ve noticed it’s actually quite hard to volunteer sometimes. Some organizations require a great deal of paperwork or a long term commitment in order to volunteer with them.
New York Cares solves this issue in New York City by pairing people up with organizations that need help. After the quick hour long orientation, we set up volunteer opportunities for the subsequent three days. One Wednesday we discussed current events with the residents of VISIONS (a center for the blind and visually impaired). On Thursday we did improv with second graders at Hudson Guild (a multi-service community center in Chelsea). And then on Friday we helped with a yoga class for preschoolers at Hudson Guild.
We’re thankful for New York Cares for doing all the hard work and letting people do what they really want to do: volunteer. Hopefully more cities take up this model to make volunteering more accessible.
By Mike Hrostoski