Bella has volunteered with The Shadow Project since 2020. She supports fundraising and program operations. Bella jumped in to new volunteer roles that were created to support our adapted programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are so grateful for her service!
How did you learn about The Shadow Project?
Bella (BS): As an aspiring clinical psychologist, I am always on the lookout for organizations within the mental health sphere to support and get involved with. When I came across The Shadow Project and learned about their mission and programs, I knew that I wanted to know even more about the work that they do in uplifting students who learn differently in our community and contribute to this mission in some way.
Can you describe what your volunteer service looks like?
BS: Currently, I am participating in community outreach for The Shadow Project. This involves reaching out to local businesses to secure in-kind donations from some of Portland’s most beloved establishments. I am very grateful to be able to assist with this outreach, as these donations serve a wonderful purpose in that they are some of the incentives that the students in The Shadow Project programs earn for all of their hard work.
I have also volunteered to create Shadow Bucks e-Gift Cards for students. This involves using Shopify to create digital gift cards that the students are sent and can spend after earning their Shadow Bucks in the Goal Setting program. While it is a simple task, it is also quite rewarding to be able to assist in creating these gift cards, as you are able to see the real world impact of your volunteer work and how these programs are truly benefiting each student on an individual level.
What’s something new you learned through your volunteering experience?
BS: While volunteering with The Shadow Project, I’ve had the opportunity to think deeply about their mission, become more informed in regard to their programs and recognize the positive impact that these programs have on students who learn differently. This has truly put the educational system into perspective for me in terms of the diversity of experiences and the importance of providing our school systems with the tools that they need to ensure every single student is able to thrive and can reach their full potential. In addition, my volunteering experience has also reinforced and reminded me of just how gratifying it can be to spend your time giving back, even just in ways that may seem small.
What is your favorite thing about being a Shadow Project volunteer?
BS: There are so many things that I enjoy, but I would have to say my favorite part is imagining the smile on a student’s face or feeling of pride in their heart when they earn a prize for their hard work, in the moments after I secure an incentive donation or I create a student’s Shadow Bucks e-Gift Card. This is a time when a tangible positive impact of your support can really be felt. It is an honor to have played any part in that student’s joy.
What keeps you coming back?
BS: I continue to volunteer with The Shadow Project because empowering students who learn differently so that they can reach their full potential is vitally important work. It has been incredibly rewarding and a privilege to contribute to this work and hopefully play a part in uplifting the educational experiences of individual students. In addition, every team member I’ve worked with as a volunteer at the Shadow Project has been absolutely lovely! They are organized, friendly, communicative and flexible. They have been such a pleasure to work with and take great care of their volunteers, which definitely keeps me coming back.
Interested in volunteering with us? Click here to head to our Volunteer page with current opportunities.
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