MOHAMMED RASHED ALSHAMSI
The Ohio State University
Volunteering in Al Jimi Mall
May 28 - May 30 : 21 Hours
I volunteered this summer for 3 days, from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm with “Fazaa" in Al Jimi mall to help in maintaining the rules needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. I found this opportunity by coincidence as I was going to the mall in Ramadan, and saw those young guys who were my age. I asked them how the process to join the volunteering team is, and they gave me the director's number to contact. For the first day of volunteering, I stood by one of the main gates of the mall and helped in assuring that individuals who entered the mall kept their distance from each other. The rules to the mall stated that anyone under 12 years old or older than 60 years old cannot enter the mall for his or her safety and others’ safety. For precaution, I made sure to look at the ID of anyone who looked too young or too old, and if they were ineligible to enter, I respectfully denied their entrance. I also made certain that everyone who entered was wearing his or her mask the right way. For the second and third days of volunteering, I had two shifts. On the first shift that was from 12:00 pm to 2:20 pm, I stood by the gate to ensure that the age rules of the mall apply. Then, from 2:20 till 3:15, there was a lunch break. After that, from 3:15 till 7:00, I was assigned to the vegetables and fruits' area in the supermarket. I had to pay attention to the people around and make sure that all of them were wearing gloves. It is very crucial that no-one touches the vegetables or fruits with bare hands. I also tried my best to ensure that everyone kept their distance from each other while standing in the line of weighing and pricing vegetables.
During my time in this task of volunteering, I got to experience different behaviors of people; it required dealing with them according to their cultures and ages. I was told to be kind at all times, and that was key to be respected by the people. This valuable opportunity was super interesting to me, as this is the least I can do to serve my country and protect it at times like this
Distributing "Iftar" Meals Volunteering
May 18 - May 23 : 6 Hours
During the last 6 days of Ramadan, I thought it would be a good idea to volunteer using an idea of my own. I spent an hour and a half each day, where I bought “Iftar” meals from a restaurant and distributed them to workers and people on the streets. The smiles I saw on these people’s faces when I gave them the food definitely made my day. After doing this, I felt a sense of fulfilment because I did an act of kindness towards the society. Giving back to the community is always phenomenal to spend free time and enhance social connections.
Ohio Blind Soccer Volunteering
February 23, 2020 : 5 Hours
During the Spring semester, I had the opportunity to volunteer for a blind soccer event held by The Ohio State School for the Blind. I signed up to this event by a website called "ColumbusGivesBack" where there are multiple opportunities to volunteer around the city of Columbus. This volunteering experience was an eye-opener to me because I had never dealt with blind people before. The volunteers, including myself, had to guide a blind person in gym exercises, and in playing soccer. I had to guide them by hand and most of the time by using my voice to help them locate the ball. We played a blind soccer match with them, where we had to cover our eyes and play as if we were blind. I was shocked by the ability of blind people to walk and jog without any difficulties and without bumping into others. I was told by the teachers of the school that when a person loses one sense, he or she masters another sense; in this case, it is the hearing sense. We then went and had lunch with them in the school's cafeteria. This was a wonderful experience by all means. Finding ways to communicate with the blind and interacting with local people and volunteers of Columbus was stimulating. I found the time I spent in this activity very valuable to me, where I was able to develop connections with local people of Columbus rather than hanging with fellow students on campus all the time.