Volunteer Reflection by Jenny Oca

My name is Jennifer Oca and I am an Undergraduate student at San Francisco State University. I am majoring into Liberal Studies and my emphasis is Urban Studies. My plan within my major is to work in the community and be involved in the government/social services. I like working with people and being involved in a community who needs the assistance or the support.  I was born and raised in Stockton, Ca with my one brother and three sisters. My parents are name Alex and Dolores Oca and they were born in the Philippines. My father was born in Cebu and my mother was born in Bataca, Ilocos Norte.  I chose to become a Liberal Studies major and work for government/social services because I have been involved with working with the people and children. I used to work at Target for 3 years and I was also a Preschool teacher for 4 months.  I ended my employee to live in San Francisco and transferred colleges from San Joaquin Delta College and have my AA degree as Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social along with Interdisciplinary Teacher Preparation to attending and pursuing my education further in order to receive my Bachelor degree.

When volunteering for Veterans Equity Center, it surprised me on the amount of seniors who needs the help and assistance for housing and applying for senior/disability free muni bus pass.  It is hard for seniors to deal with situations where they feel as if they do not have any help. It is hard as well that they do not have enough family to help them in situations where their place (home) is forced to be evicted due to the hardship of the low income housing. I learned that there are assistance and it is not hard or to feel afraid to go through these assistance to help a senior to keep their home. Veterans Equity Center supports the seniors, especially the veterans whether it is an eviction or need the help to apply for free muni bus pass or applying for low income housing. They reach out to them and offer as many help that can offer to make a senior feel less stressed, but also to let them know that they should not be afraid.

While volunteering for Veterans Equity Center, I have contributed my free time by helping the center and the community in any way that I can. I have helped reached out to the veterans and seniors for offers of signing up for the low income housing that TODCO have offered. I have done phone banking and recording each senior applicants into the system to make the VEC well organized and involved into activities such as the exercise with the senior women who have arthritis. Throughout volunteering, there was nothing less attractive, I have more sense of experience with office work, but as well as having the ideas of what applying for low income housing is. Not only that, but reaching out to the seniors for help that is offered at Veterans Equity Center.

Some of the observations that I have foreseen is the welcome and the smile that the employees present to the seniors or anyone. The way the employees ease the stress that seniors are facing, a smile and feeling welcome helps the seniors out. VEC is a great learning experience and being involved is one the best that I contributed. It helped me enhance on skills and ideas of what affordable housing is life and the assistance that is offered for veterans and seniors. VEC appreciates all the hard work and the strength of what a veteran faces by celebrating their birthdays and having bingo nights. VEC offers great activities and fun entertainment such as Karaoke and exercise. These events and activities are what seniors look forward to because they have places that they can go to and enjoy, but also to feel stress free, and welcomed.

 

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