We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Stefanie Beinhofer. Stefanie is an au pair from Austria living with her host family in Massachusetts and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work helping children.
My name is Stefanie Beinhofer, and I am an au pair in Massachusetts.
I knew when I came to the U.S. that I wanted to do some volunteering, because the US offers so many good opportunities to volunteer and gives you the chance the make a change.
I have a lot of good memories of my volunteer experiences, and I hope they will continue to be so extraordinary. I still remember how I volunteered at a Horse Riding Program for special needs children, only a short time after I arrived in the U.S. I didn’t know a lot of people and everyone there was incredible nice and welcoming. I enjoyed working with the children and the horses so much. I will never forget the joy in the eyes of the kids when they got on the horse.
Another time I volunteered at an Ice Skating Championship, and I never saw anything comparable. All these girls and boys, in all ages, flying over the ice and performing with all their heart. I am still so impressed with what these kids accomplished.
I also learned a lot about American life and culture from volunteering.
While the stereotype of the U.S. is that most people are self-absorbed and only care about themselves, I saw the opposite while volunteering. I meet so many people, who volunteered for no other reason than their need to give something back. Every single one of my fellow volunteers was open, helpful and had a big heart. They showed me that the American culture is made of all different people and that everyone, no matter from where they come, is welcomed. This experience showed me how Americans really are. I also learned that a little help can make a big difference for somebody and that it is the little things that count.
Volunteering became a big and important part of my life. It is so important to me because it puts everything in perspective. When I felt like there are more and more bad people on this planet, I thought of all these good people, who help without expecting anything in return. This made me believe, that love will always be stronger.
Moreover, volunteering became important to me, because I believe you are never done learning and these experiences thought me so much and I am incredible thankful for that. But the most important reason why it is important to me, is because it gave me the opportunity to do something good and help some people whose smiles can light up this world and that is the best feeling in the world.
Contact us to view profiles of au pairs like Stefanie and to learn how Au Pair in America can be a rewarding cultural experience and child care solution for your entire family.