Ethan Klenofsky has volunteered over 300 hours of community service to The Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center in Wyandanch, New York. The organization exists to support Wyandanch and the local surrounding areas with emergency services – including food, rental, utilities, referrals, translations, immigration assistance and more – every single month.
Ethan tells us about his volunteer work and what inspired him to volunteer in the first place.
Describe your volunteer role with The Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center.
My volunteer role included working in the food pantry by stocking cans and bottles, making up bags of food, stocking meat in the fridge and freezer, making up bags of toiletries, throwing out old toys and bringing food from the containers to the pantry.
What does The Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center do?
Each month our outreach program provides over 1,200 services to over 1,000 men, women and children in the area. We provide food and goods, as well as assistance with things like translations and immigration services.
What inspires you to volunteer?
What inspires me to volunteer is my late grandpa, who volunteered a lot in his days and got recognized for his volunteer work through his local Jewish temple. I was very close to him and volunteering helps me to follow in his footsteps.
Can you share a rewarding moment from your work?
Any rewarding experiences would be the countless smiles I see on people’s faces and knowing that I’m bettering my community just by volunteering.
What advice do you have for people who want to get more involved?
I encourage everyone to go out there and volunteer and make their community and the world a better place.
Any lessons you’ve learned along the way?
A lesson I learned along the way is volunteering affects more people in a positive way than we might think.
Are there any future partnerships, programs or events that you are excited about?
I’m in college right now focusing on my studies, but I am thinking of partnering with someone to raise money and combat homelessness in the U.S. sometime in the near future, when college isn’t so hectic!
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Ethan? Find local volunteer opportunities.