Volunteer Day in Harrisonburg

By: Philip Townsend Email
By: Philip Townsend Email

Student leaders at James Madison University volunteered with the United Way Saturday to lend a helping hand.

They're spent the day doing yard work and fixing up homes. Student leaders say it's fulfillment and an enjoyable way of life.

JMU senior Rob Bardinas says, "We're doing it because we like helping people. We're doing it because we genuinely enjoy this type of thing and it's a great experience."

JMU senior Kristen Trost adds, "It's indescribable. The volunteer work and getting to be here and see the difference that you make is worth anything that you may be giving up."

Trost is studying social work while interning at the United Way of Harrisonburg. She knows the work she is doing has a big impact on the community.

She says, "It's a great way to make a change in individuals lives as well as a positive change in the local community and it's something I want to do for the rest of my life and something I'm pretty certain I'll be able to do wherever I go."

A lot of the work going on Saturday is in preparation for the Alternative Spring Break Program. JMU students will spend their breaks helping out around the nation and across the globe.

Rob Bardinas has been making these trips since his freshmen year.

He says, "We're all service oriented individuals. We all like what we're doing. If we didn't want to be here. If we didn't want to go on these trips, we wouldn't be doing it."

He says the work he has done has inspired him to pursue volunteering after school.

He adds, "I'm going to try and start something like this wherever I am located after I finish at JMU."

Trost says anyone has the power to make positive changes in their community.

"You can make a difference just as one individual and this is a constant reminder of that," says Trost.

The Alternative Spring Break Program expects 32 trips with more than 300 students for the program next year.

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