News: Volunteering makes a positive influence
Story by Sgt. Gina C. Rindt
BEAUFORT, S.C. - Service members have a multitude of tasks and jobs to complete in order to accomplish the mission of the Navy and Marine Corps. While in the Tri-Command, volunteering is something they do to help make a difference in the community.
Some of the Beaufort County charities and non-profit organizations service members can volunteer with are Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity, Child Abuse Prevention Association, the Kiwanis Club of Beaufort and the American Red Cross.
Going out and making a difference in the community makes all the time and effort worth it, according to Cpl. Kenneth Sainvil, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 maintenance administration chief. He does it, not for himself, but for the ones who need the help.
“Helping others in the community gives [service members] the chance to experience a different atmosphere,” said Benjie Pangelinan, the Air Station Single Marine Program coordinator. “Lending a helping hand can give volunteers a huge sense of pride in what they do for others.”
The spirit of volunteerism can impact a whole community. Volunteers give back what they have been given, and help those less fortunate get the things in life that others might take for granted.
The local community has many volunteer opportunities for service members to satisfy that urge. Through volunteering, service members not only improve their social standing in the local community, but also put themselves in a position to meet new people while doing something good for others.
“Volunteering helps service members get connected to the surrounding community,” said Pangelinan, a native of Guam.
Seeing the smile on people’s faces makes most volunteers proud to do what they do for those in need, he added.
“Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity helps keep the cost of houses down in the community, since volunteer labor means less money paid to the contractor,” said Ryan Copeland, the resource development director with Habitat for Humanity. “This, in return, helps lower the overall cost of the house and the resulting mortgage payments for the homeowner.”
According to Copeland, Habitat’s most current job site is the Women Build on St. Helena Island. After the Women Build House is complete early next year, work moves to the Veterans Build House downtown in the Pigeon Point neighborhood, which is being sponsored and built by local veterans.
“Service members help give us an infusion of manpower when we need it most,” said Copeland, a native of Beaufort. “We have active and retirees who come out to volunteer, and having the active duty service members come in not only boosts production, but also morale.”
For more information about volunteering in the local community, service members can contact the SMP at 228-7405. For more information on other Beaufort County charities and non-profit organizations, visit www.sciway.net