photo 1Volunteers are a huge part of what keeps AIDS Services of Austin going. Their hard work and contributions to the community make a difference in the lives of our clients and have an impact on the community as a whole. So when 10 high school students from International Community High School Teen Health Council came to Austin and wanted to pitch in while they were in town, we were excited to have them volunteer at the Helping Hands Food Bank.

The group of students, who study sexual health and sexually-transmitted infection prevention, were in town to present their work at the Healthy Teen Network Conference on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH). They contacted ASA and were interested in lending a helping hand and seeing what AIDS Services of Austin does for the Travis County community. Serigne Diaw, one of the students who volunteered, said, “I was really amazed by what you guys are doing.”

When asked about her experience with the students, our Food and Nutrition Services Manager Julie Falchuk said, “They were amazing! They were so eager and picked everything up quickly.” Julie described them as, “smart, enthusiastic and eager.”

photo 4Serigne told us after volunteering, “Our experience there was amazing and unforgettable. I think just seeing you guys putting all your best into helping those people who without you guys their lives would have been so different and hard, motivated me more to increase every good thing I’m doing to help people.”

The students were very involved in all of the food bank activities while volunteering at Helping Hands. They helped sort produce, clean up the food bank, and one student helped an illiterate client fill out paperwork. Another wrote a speech about their time at Helping Hands to be given at the conference.

Gina and Kelly, two of the volunteers in the food bank, had nothing but great things to say about the group. Kelly said, “They were ready to work, intelligent, interested in what they were doing and interested in the world. It was nice to see high school students interested in their fellow man and take an interest in their lives.” Gina spoke of the students as, “focused, loving and they had great communication skills.”

We love our volunteers at ASA and are grateful for their service. If you’re interested in any opportunities, find out more on our Volunteer page.