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Giselle R.

Last year I didn’t know what it meant to volunteer. One day I got an email to participate as a volunteer in Flavors of Denver so I decided to apply. A few hours later I received an answer from the American Liver Foundation and I started my first volunteer event.

I did not know what I had gotten myself into so I was really nervous. When I arrived and I saw the magnitude of the event I became even more nervous and it didn’t help that it was broadcasted on television with a lot of great chefs in a great venue. I had not done anything related to this before but by the end I was very happy and motivated to participate in more volunteer events.

That was a beginning of a change in my life. At first, I did not know what to do. From stations, shifts, setting tables ect. Everything was a new language for me. When you attend an event, you do not realize all the work that has gone into creating and running it. It sounds cliché, but it is true. So, I accepted the challenge because for me everything was going to be new.

When I arrived, I met Juliane who kindly went through my responsibilities with me and then I met Jorden. Both are super talented, intelligent and hard-working women. I was amazed that everything was perfectly organized so I always felt supported by the American Liver Foundation and the other volunteers.

When you agree to be a volunteer it is a responsibility and a commitment because it is not just showing up, it is really helping and doing your best.

Since then, I have volunteered at the Liver Life Walk and deLIVERing hope because I find something incredibly satisfying about acting in a way that is consistent with my principles. It helped me connect to my community and make friends who have become very close. That was the beginning of my career as a volunteer.

Being able to say I changed something in the world, in the lives of others, gives meaning to my being here beyond simply looking after myself. The life that really changed was mine and continues to do so. You learn about other people and their struggles in their day to day life. It reminds me how lucky I am and because I have been given so much in my life I believe it is important to give back.

Today you may be the person with the ability to help but tomorrow you may be the recipient of someone else’s volunteer effort. As a volunteer you will continue to serve as long as you feel that your efforts are accomplishing something bigger than yourself and your talents are appreciated with the difference you can make.

I volunteer because I want to not only see the world but make a difference in it and for that I am grateful.

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