April 4, 2024

‘One interaction can change a life’

Even with the busyness that comes with being a full-time college student, Aidan Gallagher, a freshman social work and human development and family science major at NDSU, finds the time to volunteer three hours a week at the Sanford Medical Center.

Gallagher volunteers in Cully’s Kids Cabin, a space where child patients, siblings and visitors can get out of the hospital setting to relax and play. Some of his tasks include spending time with the children he’s assigned during each shift. 

Gallagher knew he wanted to get involved in community service when he arrived at NDSU in the fall.

“When I heard about Sanford, they have so many different opportunities, but Cully’s Cabin really stood out because it’s kid-focused and helping the families and the kids kind of take away from the situation,”  said Gallagher, who is from Sartell, Minnesota.

Gallagher said he looks forward to the three hours a week he’s able to spend volunteering.

“It’s a really fun experience just to get off campus and to get in there and in the environment with all the different people,” he said. 

One of Gallagher’s favorite parts of volunteering in Cully’s Cabin is being able to connect with the children, both familiar and new.

It’s awesome when they remember you. They obviously don’t remember your name, but they remember the interactions,” he said.

On campus, Gallagher said students can get connected to various volunteer opportunities through the Volunteer Network. The organization helps students find service opportunities in the FM area and surrounding communities. 

“NDSU’s Volunteer Network does a good job for people that are really looking for hours, and they’re one email away from finding those,” said Gallagher, who is on the Volunteer Network committee.  

Gallagher said there is a shared pride among his peers to give back to the community, and lots of opportunities for students. Serve with the Herd is one of NDSU most impactful service opportunities. Students can volunteer at a variety of locations around Fargo during the annual event.  

Gallagher’s message to students is to consider taking the time to volunteer.

“Once you get in there you realize that, even with our highs and lows as college students, there are people that always have it worse,” he said. “Even one interaction can make a person’s day or change a life.”

To find out more about service events on campus and other volunteering opportunities, connect with the Volunteer Network on Instagram and myNDSU.  

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