More than just volunteering Reply

Illustration by Natalie Kfoury

Illustration by Natalie Kfoury

Kayli Hertel – Features Editor

I’m not really sure how I ended up at the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL). It may have started when my best friend dragged me along when she started volunteering; or it may have been when I followed my friends to talk with their CCBL mentors. Even though I don’t remember how I got to the CCBL, I’m glad I did.

In one word, the CCBL is all about caring. Caring about a topic, whatever it may be, and doing something about it is what the center does. It can be something about animals, youth homelessness, literacy, or cancer; it’s as simple as that. 

What makes the CCBL special is its people make an effort to become passionate about the topics you are passionate about. You can walk in, take a seat, and talk about your passions to people who sincerely want to make these passions an experience that everyone can enjoy.

Through a course I took at the CCBL called Introduction to Community Organizations, we took a field trip to the Waltham organization More Than Words. From what I understood, it was a bookstore run by underprivileged teens. It ended up being so much more than that.

Like the CCBL, More Than Words was filled with a variety of people from all different backgrounds and stories looking for a place to be themselves. These kids ran the entire bookstore from the behind the scenes sorting and stocking of the books, to running the online store, and even serving treats in the cafe.

Once we were at More Than Words, my friend and I volunteered to spend the afternoon sorting through donated books to see if they could be sold online or in the store. We followed the girl we were working with down to the basement where we would scan books and sort them.

This job was initially seen as boring because of its simplicity, but it soon transitioned to the three of us gossiping about our families and laughing about the bizarre weather.

When the word volunteering comes to mind, it doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be an amazing afternoon consisting of scanning and sorting books while making a new friend.The CCBL is all about following through what you care about and having the support to do so along the way.

You can easily become involved as soon as you walk through the door. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you study, the people at the CCBL and at Lasell in general will support you no matter what. They help you take a dream or an idea and make it into a reality.

For more information on More Than Words visit their website mtwyouth.org.

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