SAGE Garden Volunteering

Pre Journal

Volunteering is not a new concept for me because I worked voluntarily once when I was in the US. It was three years ago. My experience was very similar to this one. I worked in a garden which grows vegetables and gives these vegetables to the poor people. I planted fruits and vegetables on the field. At night time I and my friends cooked for the poor people and this experience was amazing. You cannot express your feelings with any words when you put a smile to someone else’s face. This moment is priceless. I think SAGE garden trip would be very similar to my last experience. I am looking forward helping, cook and meet new people. We can learn lots of things from these people. We can learn about the other side of the life and the most important thing is we can learn to help each other. Anybody could make a difference in this world. I am sure that as a group we will gain lots of benefits from this activity and as an individual, I am going to help others as much as I can.

After Journal

 This was my second time as doing a volunteering activity and also this one is more meaningful for me than the other one. Working on the field, carrying leafs with a wheelbarrow, picking the crops … These activities were very difficult. However, they were also very funny. We did everything with teamwork. I think being a team player is an amazing is an amazing specialty. I tried to help everybody because I felt that I was doing something right. I knew that my efforts would help people who extremely needs food. For this reason, I gave my best. After we finished our job, I drunk a huge amount of water and this feeling was priceless. For the first time in my life, I had deserved water. One of the volunteers congratulated us and said that we did a good job. I want to express something that impressed me deeply. A couple was working on the field and they were more than 80 years old. My dream is to become like them because in this concept there would always be people who need help. If I would be capable at that age why I won’t help them? In my opinion, volunteering must be the most important value of societies’ life otherwise, our community would be selfish. I am going to express my feelings and experiences to everybody. Even if I could encourage one person about doing volunteering, I would feel very happy.

Murat Zeybeker


Volunteering is a great experience!

19 July 2016

I was very exciting for this course because it is the first time for me to join volunteering group and serve the community. During last view weeks, we went as volunteering group to different sites that serve the community, especially poor people and senior citizens. Sage garden, soup kitchen, food bank, and helping a family to build their home. First of all, I learned how I can deal with them by smiling and good words, also how I can deal with different people with different behaviors . Secondly, I learned how I can cook some types of food, also how I can prepare the food for a large number of people in short time. Lastly, I learned that we should serve the society as much as we can in different ways. In conclusion, it was a great experience for me because I got a lot of skills that I can’t achieve it without meet different people.

Aziz Alharbi

Habitat for Humanity

Last Saturday, we went to help build a house. I thought we would use the hammer and nails and cutting wood. I have never helped build a house so that hammer was the only thing I knew about the building. In addition, I imagined that we would see a semi – built house.

On that day, we were five people out of seven people; four ladies and one guy. When we arrived there, there was no house, and what was there was just the foundation of the house. The guy who met us as soon as we arrived said that house would be finished by March 2017, and that means the owner would wait for eight months. Anyway, we did not use a hammer or nails; we used shovels and wheelbarrows. We put soil in the wheelbarrow and then carried it to a specific place. To be honest, it was not easy, but when I think about the owner and her four little kids, instantly I forgot about that. In fact, it is worth it and I want to go back and help her until the last moment. The owner is an amazing woman, and she deserves that house. She works very hard and thinking about the future of her children very seriously. I can tell that she would sacrifice anything to provide a good life for her angels. I wish the best of luck for her and for everyone who takes a benefit of the opportunity and doing the best as much as possible. I wish I would be available in Corvallis next March to go and see the completed house and see the smiles on their faces.

Unfortunately, this volunteering was the last one for the session one. I am grateful for a friend of mine who told me about that class, and I am grateful also for the INTO staff who allowed me to change my classes to choose this class. Helping people is what makes me feel life inside me, and vice versa. Watching people suffering kills me, and makes me lose my desire to live. I hope all of us; the whole world – no matter what languages we speak or which religion we believe in- cooperate together to help people in need and help each other because we need each other. I hope we can make positive changes, stop the meaningless, silly conflicts, and just end the heartless heinous wars. We will not live here forever; all of us will die someday. So far, I could not understand what the point of all that arguments that happen around us is!  We can share what we have and ease each other’s lives. When it comes to the Habitat for Humanity program, all they need is some of our time. By that way, we would make life easier for those people who need our help. Finally, as the saying goes “As you sow, so shall you reap”. Thus, when you may need an assistant someday, definitely you will find someone to help you if you have already helped someone before.

Ashwaq Alamri  from Saudi Arabia

July 9, 2016


My volunteering experience with the Stone Soup Group

MinShuo Hsieh


Starving is a serious issue in our world, even in developed countries. There are a lot of charities and religious groups that help to reduce the problem. In my country, temples and churches also distribute food to people who need help. Before this volunteering activity, I guessed I would help the Stone Soup Group to do something associating with cooking. I also read that the group has operated over 30 years. This is both impressive and amazing.

On July 7th, before we began to do our works, we were requested to wash hands thoroughly. Although these foods would be given to people for free, they also cared about food hygiene very much! My works included moving tables and chairs, site preparation, making coffee and hot water, pouring drinks to people and recovering the site. I was very surprised after I realized that they had prepared so many delicious foods, such as salad, bread, rice, salmon, vegetable soup, sweet pie, milk and many kinds of drink. People could even take out food if they wanted. The church is absolutely generous, I really could not believe it.

During the volunteering experience, I was impressed about their attitude. They are all non-profit volunteers, and they work very hard and wonderfully! I am really happy to work with the Stone Soup Group. If I have any opportunity to help hungry people in the future, I will be glad to give my help!


Linn Benton food share

A lot of people live in hunger and they don’t get sufficient food or nutrition, which causes them to suffer and live unhealthy lives. I think that we are all responsible to help these people in getting adequate food and nutrition, in order to improve their lives’ conditions. For me it is my pleasure to have the chance to volunteer in Linn Benton food share, a nonprofit organization that provides multiple services to low income people across Benton and Linn counties, aiming to decrease hunger, and to eliminate it as possible, this organization believes that every human has the right to get his essential needs, and it does achieve its goal through donating food for nonprofit groups.

I was very excited to volunteer in this association and to be able to have the chance to participate in packaging the food to deliver it for people in need, I was really happy to take a hand in making these people lives better and hoped to have the opportunity to meet them and encourage them to stay strong. I was hoping to be able to invite people not to give up, no matter how harder their life is, and to be always faithful to enhance their life and achieve more happiness.

After my volunteering session in this organization, I found that the volunteering was easy job and doesn’t require lots of efforts. However, I enjoyed it especially due to the team work and efforts we had. We helped in sorting the seeds into their different types in order to distribute the food to the poor people. This volunteering activity was entertaining to me, besides it was also very beneficial. I got to know the different types of vegetable and herbs which I did not know before. I had fun in this volunteering but it didn’t meet my expectations. I expected that I we will meet people and serve them food. However, when I thought about what I have done, I realized that I was one chain among all those great people who volunteer and help in fighting hunger.

Areen Khalifa

July 2016

SAGE by Wilson Christian Loga

I’ve done a few volunteering activities in the past like going at the Boys And Girls Club or visiting the elderly people at Stoneybrook.

I never heard about the Starker Arts Garden For Education but, from what I heard, they supply 3-4 tons of organically-grown produce to agencies and families all over Corvallis. My expectations, no matter the roles, are to go out there and have fun while participating in making the difference in the community. I’m eager to learn how they grow their foods and I’m not nervous because my teamates and I will get the job done.

Following the volunteering activity at the Starker Arts Garden For Education, I felt really amazing and I was filled with joy. I had the opportunity to, with a few classmates of mine, practice weeding. Also I participated on doing  the mulching activity which was very physically demanding because I had to fill up the wheelbarrow with a huge amount of mulch. I had the feeling of satisfaction on account of me doing exactly what was asked of me. I’d definitely do this activity again because I like to make a difference in the community and lend a hand to people in general.

SAGE Garden Volunteering – June 28/2016

I visited the garden before with my family, but we did not do anything as a volunteer. The garden was very pretty because we visited the garden on the summer, and after we go back to home I went to the hospital because it was my last day in the pregnancy and my daughter was born in that day, so it was special day. Today we will help the visitors to have a beautiful garden by gardening the place to make it more pretty for any visitor to the place with my friends. When I was young I was very excited to do gardening with my mother in our home, so today I am looking for repeat that experience and I really excited. My expectation for today that it will be very interesting and happy day with my friends, and I want to help the community by gardening. Today I want to do some planting flowers in the garden will be very interesting for me. After I visited the garden it was an amazing day because it was my first time volunteering in garden. Me and my friends serve in the children garden, and it was very fun because while we were work in the garden we talked and laugh a lot. I am so happy to help in the garden because they help the community by give them crops from the garden for free, which is very helpful to know that I was one-day part of this. It was my pleasure to be a part of the volunteering, and it is very important to try this experience at least one time because it is gave me a pretty special feelings of helping others and help the community and make the change.

Ola Alrajih

June 28/2016

Love in Stoneybrook

By Lincoln         June 7th, 2016

Before I went to the Stoneybrook Lodge, I checked some information online and learned that Stoneybrook Lodge is a company in the business of providing comfort, value and security to seniors. The pictures on their website show that the environment around the Lodge is very good. I hope those people who live there enjoy their lives. I prepared some questions about their living experience and some interesting stories they would like to share with us. I know seniors like sharing their experience and stories with young people, teaching us some theories from their past. To be honest, I wanted to ask some questions about the reasons why they choose to live in a senior apartment. In my opinion, living with their children or their families would be better than living alone in a senior apartment.

Taking place on May 17th, the Stoneybrook volunteering experience was really warmhearted. We met at the parking lot and Dr. Cate drove us to the Stoneybrook Lodge. The environment was the same as shown in the picture; there is a fountain and several parterres. After we walked into the lobby, several seniors were waiting for us and welcoming us.  We were divided into three groups, and Marine and I were in the same group. Three seniors sat with us and shared their experience with us. One of the seniors named Tom asked Marine if she knew a doctor who lives in Thailand who is his friend’s son and who wrote a letter to him. Marine helped Tom to check online and make sure his friend’s son is still working in Thailand. That helped Tom to fulfill his wish.

Then we shared our experiences living in Corvallis and our lives in China and Thailand. Three seniors surprised me, that they all had been to China. They travelled to Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an and Guilin. Tom still feels the Li River and the Karst features are amazing natural landscapes. Some of the seniors have the problems of hearing, so I needed to be louder to make sure they could get my ideas. The manager of Stoneybrook told me some seniors have health problems such as Alzheimers, so we should be more patient in order to take care of them.

After our conversation, I feel that even though these seniors have some health problems, their hair became silver, and they have hearing problems, they are still positive and confident. They delivered much positive energy to us. Thanks to them and thanks for this good opportunity.

Boys and Girls Club

 Written by: Abdulrahman Alabsi

Saudi Arabia

     Corvallis Boys and Girls Club is a place where they provide after school care for the families in Benton County. It is a non-profit organization that provides care for more than 10,000 K-12 students. Last Tuesday we visited The Boys and Girls Club. Before visiting we had to prepare for our visit. We wanted to provide activities that represent our culture and heritage. So, I decided to bring a black marker and colorful paper to introduce the children to the Arabic calligraphy. I wanted to show them something beautiful that they could enjoy and bring home to share with their parents. Moreover, my friend Mohammed decided to bring the traditional clothes of Saudi Arabia. We decided to work together to show them a side of our culture to pique their interest.

When we went there, they gave us vest and tables to prepare for the activities. Then, kids came to our room. At first they were curious, but still shy to talk with me. So, I began by asking them to teach me how to write their names in English, and when they do, I write their names in Arabic. They were impressed by the letter structure of the Arabic language. When they saw their names in Arabic, they wanted to writes their names in Arabic too. Something interesting I found was that they tried to copy their names from left to right, while Arabic is written from right to left. So I had to teach them more about the Arabic letters structure. Shortly after that, a girl named Tamara who is from Saudi Arabia came and decided to take my job. She was 12 years old and familiar with most of the activities, so I let her take my job. She wrote her friends names in Arabic and helped them practice writing their names in Arabic. After that,  I became jack of all trades. I drew a mustache for a kid named Eric, I thought a girl named Emmy how to play an Arabic game called territories, and I helped Tamara to write the Arabic alphabet in a sheet of paper because she wanted it give it our instructor Dr. Rachael Kate. In the end, we said goodbye to the kids and cleaned the room before leaving. I decided to write about this trips, because it was a truly beautiful experience, there is nothing like children curiosity about the world. Honestly, this trip reminded of my young sibling back home.


Making a difference at Avery Park


By : Wilson Christian Loga    From : Canada


By having the English through volunteering class , we had the chance to go to Avery Park for some volunteer work. I had never heard about Avery Park before due to the fact that I was new to Corvallis and Oregon State University. I lent a hand to the people that were in charge of keeping Avery Park clean year-round and I was looking forward to being out there with my classmates so we could make a difference. In all honesty, I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t know if I could get the job done perfectly. I enjoyed working in teams to make sure Avery Park stays clean when I left and I put smiles on people’s faces. Those were my expectations. I didn’t think about playing a specific role in my team. I went there to  accomplish the given tasks.

My experience at Avery Park was pretty awesome. I filled the wheelbarrow with a lot of mulch and I was in a group of 6 along with my classmates. My role was to fill in empty spaces on the ground with mulch by using a small rake and doing that with finesse. I felt good about mulching because Steve thoroughly explained to us what we were going to do. I thought I was the right person to do those tasks. I gained experience by doing the volunteer project because I helped by contributing to the flourishing of different type of roses that’s going to take place later on this year. I learned a lot about myself. I can be somebody that can volunteer with a group of people to make a difference in the community. I never imagined myself doing that type of activity unless I was getting paid. I wasn’t surprised about the volunteering experience because, even though it was my first time doing it, I’ve seen people do that type of activity.

The volunteering work was crucial so the roses could flourish later throughout the year. I’d definitely want to be a volunteer again because I can work in teams to do something positive for the nature or for people in general.