McNicholas students give back

In today’s busy society, it can be hard to think about finding time to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way for students to open their hearts to new experiences. McNick students are required 40 hours of community service, but many go above and beyond the requirement.

Pregnancy Center East is a place where students can volunteer to help women during a pregnancy, talk to women about choosing life for their child, or even doing something simple such as organizing items for children.  Sophomore Lily Motz volunteers at Pregnancy Center East in Hyde Park.   Motz has been sorting and organizing baby clothes at Pregnancy Center East for about two years. “I like it because it is easy, fun and it really makes a difference for the people who need baby stuff,” Motz said.

The Cincinnati Zoo is a place that doesn’t come to mind very often when looking for places to volunteer. Junior Leah Bartel volunteers at the Cincinnati Zoo and  has been tending the goats, greeting visitors, helping in the lorikeets section, and talking to people about the cougars since June 2011. “I like it because I get to do things that I wouldn’t normally be able to do on a daily basis, like play with goats and lorikeets!” Bartel said.

Junior Olivia Fitzpatrick’s plan is to start a program called Strings for Strength with Rachel Wadell. Fitzpatrick will play the violin at different hospitals and at the Ronald McDonald House, starting before Christmas and continuing throughout the year. “I want to give back to the people who are hospitalized, because they are going through hard times, and I think it will be a good way to brighten their day,” Fitzpatrick said.

At the Hospice of Cincinnati on Beechmont Avenue, senior Molly Hiltz volunteers by visiting and talking with patients. She has been doing this for about six months. “The patients have very interesting insights about life,” Hiltz said.

Another place that might not come to mind for volunteering opportunities n is Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship, an agency that provides a horseback riding program for children and adults with disabilities. With this agency, Senior Rachel Buhr teaches the clients how to correctly ride horses. “I have been doing this for two and a half years, and I like it because each person has a different personality,” Buhr said.

Senior Ben Sullivan volunteers at Our Daily Bread, an Over-the-Rhine ministry that serves meals to people in the area who can’t afford to buy food. “Volunteering at Our Daily Bread is something I find meaningful. My family lives a good life, so I feel the need to give back to the community,” Sullivan said.

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