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Volunteer serves beyond campus requirement

While most students worry about turning in papers on time or studying for the latest tests, Melissa Bump, ’05, is daily serving homeless people at the Fresno Rescue Mission. Volunteering for her has become more than an obligation, it is a lifestyle.

She has been living in the Rescue Mission with her parents who own the shelter. Bump has lived there for three years since her father was asked to be the assistant manager.

“My average day would consist of answering phones or helping anyone with their questions,” Bump said. “Or sometimes I get to play with little kids. But, it is not the act that I enjoy; it is seeing the joy in their eyes of knowing that someone cares about them that I love.”

Bump says that the hardest thing she has ever had to witness is when her parents had to call the CPS on a family for certain reasons and watch the kids being taken away from the parents.

In Webster’s dictionary a volunteer is someone who renders aid, performs a service, or assumes an obligation voluntarily. Many students on campus volunteer besides the hours of community service required for bible classes, at numerous places for the joy that it brings to their heart.

Bump is not the only person on campus that volunteers at an organization beyond the ten hours per year required by the campus bible teacher.

“I occasionally perform community service at my church,” Jordan Hogue, ’06, said. “Our church auction or monthly cleaning is always a nice way to lend a helping hand.”

“I think it is a good idea for the students to have students perform community service because it teaches them to give back to the community that has given so much to them,” Greg Page one of the campus Bible teachers, said. “Also it helps them serve others and help the unfortunate.”

While she began working in the cancer unit, Tricia Hill, ’03, now works in the playroom dedicating her time into helping at Valley Children’s Hospital.

“I lost my brother to a form of Luekemia and, I want to give back to the hospital that helped him,” Hill said. “Also I want to go into nursing, so it is a good opportunity to get a feel for the job.”

With the holidays around the corner the opportunities and need for volunteers is more acute. A wise man once said that the best way to receive the joy of the holidays is to help someone else.

There are many places to volunteer in Fresno and some include: San Joaquin Gardens Retirement Community, Holy Cross Clinic at the Poverello House, Catholic Charities, and Make A Wish Foundation.

For a website that has a description for volunteer opportunities and their locations in Fresno, visit www.volunteerfresno.org.

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