Volunteer Appreciation – Christopher Starks

Volunteer Appreciation – Christopher Starks

Meet Chris, an ardent music enthusiast with a strong passion for community service. From an early age, Chris’s life has been intertwined with music, cultivating a deep love for its power and beauty. Driven by a desire for balance and a meaningful way to give back, he found his calling as a volunteer with SOUNDS Academy.

As a dedicated volunteer, Chris has played various roles, contributing his time and energy to support the organization’s mission. His commitment to providing musical access and creating opportunities for children to nurture their talents has made a lasting impact. With heartfelt experiences and personal growth along the way, Chris has found fulfillment in his volunteer work. His journey has inspired him to come out of his shell, connecting with others and embracing new perspectives.

Chris’s dedication to making a positive impact has not gone unnoticed. Through his efforts, he aims to ensure every child has access to the transformative power of music, filling a void he experienced in his own upbringing.

Christopher volunteering at the 2023 SOUNDS Academy Benefit Concert

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? What motivated you to become a volunteer?
I grew up in music. My father had a gospel quartet, and my mother directed the church choir and is an excellent vocalist. I grew up playing music in church, and it has always been a part of my life. I’m currently looking for balance, which led me to think about giving back to the community. When I discovered SOUNDS Academy online, I thought it was perfect because it involves music and allows me to work with kids, something I love. Coming from a family of teachers, I express gratitude for the Benefit concert event and being surrounded by so much history at Indian Steele Park’s Memorial Hall Stadium. Being a part of it was an awesome experience, and even after the event, we gave extra food to homeless people, which was fulfilling.

Q: How did you first get involved with our organization as a volunteer? What inspired you to choose this particular cause or project?
I have been involved in various roles and tasks as a volunteer. So far, I have opened and closed the facility, assisted parents in finding classrooms, put away equipment, accepted donations, ushered, completed opening and closing checklists, distributed food, and sorted t-shirts into sizes. I contribute to the organization’s mission and goals by working in musical access/operations.

Q: Could you share a memorable experience or success story from your time as a volunteer? How did it impact you personally?
One memorable experience was when we fed the homeless after the benefit concert with the extra food at Indian Steele Park. This experience gave me perspective on my own life and fostered gratitude for what I have.

Q: How do you balance your volunteer work with your other commitments? Any tips or strategies you can share for effective time management?
I consider some of my volunteer work as “me-time” and an investment in myself, even though I am giving my off-time. I find it helpful to look at it from that perspective to avoid feeling a deficit.

Q: Have you had the opportunity to work with other volunteers or collaborate with different teams within the organization? How has that experience been for you?
It has been very good. As an introverted person, working with other volunteers has pushed me to interact with people I wouldn’t normally engage with. I remember working with Martha, another volunteer, at a recent event, and the experience of connecting with people was awesome and personally growth-oriented.

Q: What kind of impact do you believe your volunteer work has had on the community or the people you serve? Can you provide any specific examples?
I feel that my impact is primarily with the kids, ensuring they have a place to go for music rehearsals and formal training, which I didn’t have as a child. I wish I had such an opportunity.

Q: Has volunteering influenced your personal or professional growth in any way? If yes, could you elaborate on that?
Volunteering has helped me come out of my shell and become less introverted. I feel more comfortable interacting with people and experience less anxiety in social settings.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a volunteer? How can they make the most out of their experience and contribute effectively?
I advise potential volunteers to remain open, flexible, and proactive in identifying where help is needed and jumping in when possible.

Q: How has being a volunteer affected your perspective on social issues or community engagement? Has it changed your outlook in any way?
Volunteering has helped me be more compassionate towards the community and less selfish in my thinking. It has shifted my focus from personal effects to considering the collective community.

Q: Lastly, how can others support the work you and the organization are doing? Are there any upcoming events or initiatives they should be aware of?
Others can support the work by volunteering, making monetary donations, and offering musical support.

Click to Volunteer

You too can join the movement of creating a harmonious community. Whether through volunteering, making donations, or offering musical support, every contribution plays a part in empowering young minds and fostering artistic growth. Chris’s story is a testament to the profound influence that music and volunteerism can have on individuals and communities alike. His unwavering dedication is an inspiration to all, reminding us of the incredible difference one person can make.

If you would like to volunteer with SOUNDS Academy, click the button below!

Click to Volunteer