Get Involved in Your Community

Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? The real heroes of our community are emergencyWomen Fire Fighters responders like the police, fire department and ambulance technicians. You can be a hero too by volunteering to help emergency services that are always looking for volunteer aid with emergencies and disasters.

Help at Your Fire Department
“Volunteering with the Horizon Fire Department has been one of my best decisions I made when I was in high school. Everyone should explore programs around their neighborhood at least once. It’s a learning experience that you can really benefit from,” said 21-year-old Myra Martinez from Horizon, Texas. Starting in high school, Myra worked directly with the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), made phone calls, helped talk to families in emergencies, conducted interviews and helped interpret.  As an added benefit, she took courses to learn how to help people with emergency medical assistance.

Assist Police Officers
Ramon Sanchez, a 20-year-old student at the University of Texas at Austin, was very active in high school in student council, Crime Stoppers, policy debate, track, editorial writing and UIL competitions. He still managed to find time to participate in the community through Police Explorers. “Working with Police Explorers, I was able to work with officers on the job and learn protocol. We would go around the city in the patrol car and respond to accidents, help control traffic when lights wouldn’t work, and carry out warrant missions. It was a great experience. I learned a lot about police work. It was never boring,” said Ramon. Many police departments offer a variety of service roles where volunteers can get first-hand experience with police work and help with assisting in fingerprinting, taking photographs and research. “Hands-on experience and knowledge helps you grow as a person, and it is a good feeling when you know you are making a difference,” added Ramon.

Promote Health & Wellness
With a passion for promoting a healthy community, Danielle de la Paz serves on the National Youth Advisory Board for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies where she makes presentations and promotes teen pregnancy prevention.  The high school senior is also a part of her local hospital’s Teen Advisory Board and helps make health and wellness presentations for other teens.  By talking to other teens, she hopes to help encourage them to make healthy decisions. Most hospitals also recruit volunteers to assist with nutrition services, physical therapy and art therapy for patients among other volunteer roles.

Volunteer At Your Local Hospital
Jessie Barron, age 15, likes to volunteer whenever she can at her local hospital where her duties have ranged from  giving treats to the children in the hospital to cleaning wheelchairs and organizing.  “I help in anything they need. I like it because I get hands-on activities and I get to help somebody,” shared Jessie. “It makes me feel so good about everything. I think it is important because a lot of people nowadays don’t understand. Once you start volunteering, you never want to stop.  It gives you a new perspective, it makes you feel good and it warms your heart.  It is amazing.”

On top of the benefits of feeling good about your selfless acts of service, Myra also recommends volunteering as a way to gain experience, build skills and explore career opportunities.  Myra started off volunteering in high school, developed new skills and worked her way up. For Myra, this volunteer role opened the door for her current job as an official fire fighter getting paid for her hard work. “When I first started, I wanted something different and challenging and something that helped my city, so I volunteered at the fire department,” added Myra.

Check out your local fire department, police department and hospital to find out how you can become a volunteer.

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