Name: Shirley Loi

Major: Social Policy and Public Service 

Current standing/Graduating year: Senior, graduating 2017 

Where you volunteer: Share Our Selves; Orange County Women's Health Project; Hoag Hospital

Why did you choose these organizations? I believed in their mission statements, and because I wanted to give back to the community! Share Our Selves focuses on helping underserved communities in Orange County. They provide financial, medical, and food services for anyone who needs help. They have the best staff that's friendly, caring, and does everything they can to help others. I joined OC Women's Health Project because it focuses on creating health programs and resources for women in the OC area. They focus on understanding women through research and creating programs in sexual health, preventing breast and cervical cancer, and diminishing domestic violence and sexual abuse. Their staff is also incredibly friendly and dedicated to what they do. I also volunteer at Hoag Hospital because we get to be a part of the patient care team and help patients recover their health. When the patients get better, it becomes the best reward. 

Why is volunteering important to you? I think it's important to give back to my community and help those in need. I've been volunteering and doing community service work since sophomore year in high school, and since then I haven't stopped! I think it's the best feeling when I can help someone get back on their feet. Since volunteering, I feel like I have a purpose and like I'm making a difference. 

What is your favorite thing about the work you do? I love when a patient or client smiles from the services we give them. It feels so rewarding and uplifting. One patient at Hoag thanked me for taking care of her loved one so much. She gave me a stuffed animal because we had talked about pets together when I was helping her loved one. She told me that my kindness and services meant the world to her, and that moment meant the world to me! 

Why should others volunteer? I think more students should volunteer if they have the opportunity. I think others should volunteer to give back to the community, help those that are underserved, and provide services to great organizations that need our help to keep their mission going. A couple hours a month can make a lifetime of difference for someone else. Volunteering also gives experience in various career fields such as education, social work, and healthcare. So try it out! I definitely encourage everyone to volunteer at non-profits if they are able to.

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