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Throughout the pandemic, people across the country have sought ways to give back and volunteer their time to help improve others’ lives. Brayden Fugini ’22 is one of these people.
Fugini volunteered with several organizations, including The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA), Lebanon Housing Authority, Mission Central, and right here at Lebanon Valley College by making blankets for children.
Fugini explained why volunteering with all these wonderful causes is important to him.
“For me, wanting to be involved with community service started a long time ago,” Fugini said. “Throughout school, there was a big emphasis on helping people in your area. The idea of giving back really resonated with me.”
Fugini assisted the different organizations in various ways, and he worked with other students and organization leaders to help complete tasks.
At Mission Central, he spent his time repurposing empty plastic gallon buckets into relief packages for individuals affected by natural disasters. At AFCA, Fugini’s duties consisted of preparing and organizing medical equipment sent to children battling disease in Africa.
When he volunteered at the Lebanon Housing Authority, Fugini helped deliver food to residents who did not have easy meal access. He also often spent time eating and socializing with those same residents because the COVID-19 protocols that were in place prohibited them from eating with their friends in the building.
“I feel like it’s important to care about others,” Fugini explained. “Showing people that somebody out there cares for them can make a world of difference.”
Fugini’s volunteer efforts have not ceased upon returning to campus, as he has worked with Jen Liedtka, LVC’s service and volunteerism coordinator, weaving hand-made blankets for children that are distributed through the Children’s Resource Center.
According to Fugini, the most rewarding aspect of working with these different organizations is the opportunity to do it all again.
“I feel like not enough people place themselves in somebody else’s shoes,” Fugini said. “Continuously having an opportunity to help in these ways builds empathy. It is something the world needs more of.”