Heart of a Volunteer by Paula Jean Dela Cruz

Today's guest writer is Paula Jean Dela Cruz, a volunteer for the AGOS traveling exhibition in Marquee Mall (Angeles, Pampanga). Paula is currently a high school teacher at Angeles City National High School, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Holy Angel University with a degree in Secondary Education (majoring in Social Studies).

"Discover why the marine environment of the Philippines is the most diverse in the world. Know the Science. Protect our Seas."

For almost three weeks, these were the words we needed to live by as a volunteer at the A Glass of the Sea exhibition, which inspires everyone from all walks of life to appreciate and preserve our oceans and the life in it. Furthermore, it showcases the beauty of the life under the sea which we are not familiar with, and has loads of secrets yet to unfold.

Being there for almost 3 weeks was such a surreal moment for me. I have met new people with curiosity in their faces as to what they could see inside the exhibit. I have seen children brighten their eyes whenever they passed by our exhibit, and joined in doing the different activities. This gives me fulfillment, for I know I have imparted new learning in them, which they could also impart to others.

The different hands-on activities provided by the exhibit raised awareness for all who've been able to visit. I could also sense that they appreciated every bit of knowledge and experience they gained, and they now have a deeper sense of responsibility in protecting not only our oceans, but our entire environment as well. 

Honestly speaking, deciding to be a part of this exhibit was not easy for me; I have loads of work to accomplish, since my profession requires extra hours beyond the required working hours. But since it was my life goal to become a museum curator, I jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for it since I can see this as an opportunity to tick off an item on my bucket list. All in all, we are twenty four people who have the guts to be part of this exhibit. Twenty four individuals with different reasons, professions, stories to tell, values and personalities, yet we have one thing in common: and that is to learn and experience something new, and to serve and achieve the main goal of the exhibit.

With that common denomination, we are able to know each other's life story, be friends with each other, and we've bonded beyond what we never expected. 

They say volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart that indeed is true, and this heart is what gives them motivation to take on every task they need to get done. A heart that is willing to raise awareness, learn and serve, work for a cause, become a positive influence, pass along wisdom and share a vision. Moreover, this heart grew much as we grew from the experiences and faced new challenges every day. Before I finish, I would like to leave and share this quote with you, which eventually summarized this one-of-a-kind moment in my life, and that will always have a huge part in my heart. 

The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. - Deanne Hollis

So, if you have the opportunity, go and take the risk! It will surely be worth it.

Did her experience inspire you to want to volunteer for The Mind Museum's events and programs? For volunteer opportunities, email us at volunteers@themindmuseum.org.

Also stay tuned for volunteer opportunities with the AGOS exhibition as it travels to the Visayas and Mindanao region soon!

To learn more about The Mind Museum's upcoming and regular activities, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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