“How did you find out about this?”
That was question that I was asked yesterday during the Hands On Manila Volunteer Orientation that I attended. I didn’t want to explain the whole story so I simply said that I googled it out of curiosity during my free time. To be honest, this answer was very vague and superficial, and does not fully explain how I really ended up finding out about Hands On Manila and the orientation.
That lackluster answer is actually half true and half false. There are times where the vapid answer is the safer answer especially when you just met the person who’s asking you the question but her follow up question really struck me, “Why did you search for something like Hands On Manila?”
Obviously, my friend and I were the only high school students there so they must have been really shocked and at the same time intrigued as to why we were there. The first answer that popped out of my mouth was because I had some free time that I didn’t know how to kill but the truth is, I’m actually really busy right now reviewing for SAT, answering practice tests, writing blog posts, planning projects for my committees and clubs and other things, but I nonetheless decided to go.
To be honest, I wasn’t really planning to attend because of all the aforementioned things I have on my plate and to add to that, I’m still recuperating from the knee injury I suffered and I can’t really walk properly yet but there was just this little voice inside me saying why not, it might be an opportunity of a lifetime. Aside from that, I recently wrote a blogpost about “stepping out your comfort zone, taking the initiative, being the change and volunteering” and I wanted to walk the talk especially since I wrote that blog post in support for the organization that was hosting the orientation.
Looking at it from a different perspective, if I had not tore my ACL, I probably would have been coming home from practice at the time of the orientation and I probably wouldn’t have gone to the orientation. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have even searched for volunteer organizations, let alone find Hands On Manila. But because I did tear my ACL, I realized how unpredictable life is and how anything can happen in an instant.
At the same time, I learned how to accept my situation, appreciate what I have and count my blessings. It occurred to me that there are a lot more people out there in a worse situation. Because of these realizations, I wanted to make the most out of my injury, find a way to make a difference in the society and share my blessings.
Because of a bit more free time I have for I can’t go to practice, I ended up finding the Facebook page of Hands On Manila, participating in the Bloggers for Social Change Project and going to the Volunteer orientation.
The orientation really opened my eyes and introduced me to the different philanthropic organizations out there. I also got to meet several convivial and amiable people who were very easy to approach and talk to. I really learned so much last night and I’m really happy that I decided to join the orientation.
So far, the fulfillment and genuine happiness I’ve gained from doing the aforementioned has really been priceless. However, for now, I’ll have to focus first on reviewing for the SAT since I have two weeks left before one of the biggest tests in my life! Nevertheless, I’m really pumped up to share my blessings and talents and I really can’t wait to start volunteering in the different projects!
Attending the orientation is definitely a step forward to my goal of making the most out of this year by losing myself in the service of others and really making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate! 🙂