“Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference,” one student of City and Islington College said. That was certainly the case at “Here To”’s pop-up kindness cards event on the 1st of June 2015, upholding the spirit of national volunteering week. The seventeen year old hit the nail on the head. Sometimes it’s not about big gestures, or Bill-Gates-sized donations; sometimes it’s just about bringing a ray of positivity into the world.
This tiny bubble of positive energy expanded as the event went on. Soon it had enveloped even the most reluctant of passers-by. With increasing enthusiasm, students became excited by the prospect of volunteering- one student even expressing a desire to make kindness cards events a permanent fixture at their college. What had started out as the smallest of things had become huge in the space of two hours.
For a generation too often perceived as self-obsessed, the students of Islington and City College certainly showed that the volunteering spirit is alive and well. A spokesperson for NCS, an organisation for 15-17 year olds promoting voluntary social development, expressed her delight in the level of interest they had experienced, with every eligible student signing up. Yes, some may do it for UCAS points or their CV, but many believe volunteering is a rewarding way to implement their skills and show dedication to hard work. Whatever the reason, this phenomenon is encouraging.
“Here To” now has a remarkable opportunity to harness this energy. Unlike other organisations, it offers micro-volunteering, so that young people can try out different types of volunteering without sacrificing huge amounts of their time or making big commitments. As this event has demonstrated, the smallest things can make the biggest difference.