Tucked away in the Union Building, with an entrance seeming too small for what sits inside, lies the Bennion Center. And although the Bennion Center is such an integral part of the University, I had gone two years without knowing what the center was really all about.
Of course I had heard the name, seen the banners around campus, and I knew that the center was concerned with volunteer opportunities, but I had never really gone looking before.
One of the first stories I heard about one of the Bennion Center’s programs was from a friend who was going on an “alternative break”. I had to ask him again, an alternative what? As he explained, I learned that the Bennion Center offered an alternative way of spending your spring, fall and some weekend breaks. You get to use your time well by serving a community and seeing a new place. I, on the other hand, had never spent my breaks well. I had always done as little as possible with my free time. But this, this was something I could really get on board with. It is such a lovely idea, to use the free time given to you to really give back and to see more of the world while traveling. This first exposure really peaked my interest.
My next contact with the Bennion Center came when another friend of mine got a volunteer position in graphic design with them. She told me about the great people that were there and how willing everyone was to help each other. And I saw her taking real pride in her work, really creating the best images she could to benefit the Bennion Center. Just trying to do her part to serve.
When I heard about an opportunity to serve the Bennion Center for myself, I was really intrigued. The opportunity to write, which had always made my heart skip, combined with being a part of such a great community in service to so many, who would say no.
Walking into the west side of the Union, you can see the signs for the Bennion Center right away, I didn’t exactly know what was beyond those signs though. What I found was a feeling of family right from the first step inside. The receptionist greeted me warmly and asked me to sit down, as I glanced around, student volunteers sat in a common area working together on various projects, people talked casually, everyone treated each other with real interest.
The Bennion Center, while maybe being in a back corner of The Union, is yelling it’s name, asking to be heard and visited. If you’ve ever been interested in a volunteer opportunity before, I would stop by and just…talk. If there’s something you’ve been interested in, some group you’d like to help, go talk. Because really, that’s the business the Bennion Center is in, helping.