By Jennifer Lugo – Collegiate Staff
Volunteering can open new doors to connections, people, and places, revealing possibilities of hope for a bright future.
Stacey Murphy, a volunteer for LaughFest 2015, and recent Grand Rapids Community College graduate, is committed to giving back to her community. Murphy, who’s majoring in Nonprofit Administration at Grand Valley State University next fall, has used volunteering to gain experience for her future.
“Volunteering with LaughFest helped me live my passion of helping those in need and contributing to my community,” Murphy said.
Last year, while attending GRCC, Murphy had an overwhelming desire to give back to the community. She sought out the service learning department at the college to find a list of places that could use her helping hands.
“I felt engaged in my city,” Murphy said. “The best thing about it was that everyone (was) happy and excited.”
Laughfest begins with a “volunteer launch,” when volunteers get together before LaughFest, with snacks and refreshments available, to play games and discuss the upcoming events.
Murphy explained that this event “is fun in itself.”
All year round Gilda’s Club opens their doors to people in the community affected by cancer. Murphy feels strongly about this since her uncle passed away from cancer. At 12 years old, she saw firsthand the pain and suffering that cancer inflicted on her cousins. She sees the tremendous hope and relief Gilda’s Club brings to those in emotional turmoil.
“Volunteering with Laughfest helped me live my passion of helping those in need and contributing to my community,” Murphy said. “In my mind, it is easy to feel sad and despairing at the trouble in the world. It can feel overwhelming. But when you go and do something like volunteer at LaughFest or anything similar, you are shown that there is so much good in the world, and that we’re not sitting idly by letting it all happen. We can actively engage and make a difference. Volunteering fills me with hope and inspiration.”
Students can look into LaughFest Central, at the new Grand Rapids Art Museum GoSite. LaughFest Central is where tickets and merchandise can be purchased. There are retail positions open, but not for long. All volunteers must sign up by Feb 7. More information can be found online here.
Applicants must be willing to attend a volunteer orientation, one or two group meetings, and a volunteer meeting. Retail training is required the following week.
Applicants must be willing to attend a volunteer orientation, one or two group meetings, and a volunteer meeting. Retail training is required the following week. This takes a total of about ten hours.