I haven’t volunteered a lot in the past, and when I did, it was with a small group of people. So seeing a volunteering opportunity with the Hope & Heroes Walk was both nerve-wrecking and exciting.
This event was sponsored by Columbia University Medical Center, and they were raising money to fund pediatric cancer research. I was delighted to have a small role in this cause. However, I was soooooo nervous. Like, GAHHH.
Normally, I prefer to hang out with a group of close friends, or spend time by myself. I avoid huge gatherings and definitely have never stepped foot into a club. The idea of being in a big event by myself was scary. At the same time, it was an adrenaline rush.
There were several different roles, each supervised by a CUMC staff member. As a greeter, my job was to stand near the entrance closest to the parking lot, with noise makers and a funny hat (shown in picture) to direct traffic. There were two other friendly girls with me, but they were clearly friends so I didn’t chat too much with them. Most of the volunteers seemed to be with friends or Columbia students, which made me more nervous.
I believe that things happen for a reason, and certain actions result in certain consequences. To my surprise, my supervisor informed me to stand next to the special entrance (for teams that raised the most money) and be a “bouncer.” I was the only one there, and “bouncing” was my only job. The change in roles calmed me down significantly. I felt more comfortable with chatting to people one-on-one, not being distracted by nervousness, and demonstrate what I’m capable of. Time flew so quickly, and four hours have never felt shorter LOL! My supervisor came over to me when everyone was getting ready to walk, and told me I was off the hook. Matter of fact, she was surprised that I stayed there for so long!
All in all, my worst fear didn’t came true. This experience actually motivated me to look for more walk and race events to volunteer at in the future. If you’re like me who is scared of beig in crowds, volunteering is a great first step towards conquering the fear. Don’t think and just go!
Thanks for reading~