My name is Sharla Hanley, I am 34 years of age and I am a volunteer for Berkeley Cares. I have been doing volunteer work for a long time and when I decided to start college again, that did not leave me. One of the things I love to do is help others that cannot help themselves.
On Monday November 11, 2013, I volunteered for the Veterans Day Parade, otherwise known as “America’s Parade” as a Parade Marshal. The day started out cold. As I walked down 5th Avenue from Berkeley College, I saw the NYPD putting up the barricades so all traffic can be stopped.
Our job was to keep the marchers in line until it was their time to go on the route. The parade marshal has a very important job, because without them, the parade would not go on. It was cold that day as it is every year, but we know that we came to do a job, and that is exactly what I did.
I love to be a parade marshal and this was my second time being a part of that spectacular parade to support vets all around the country. The Veterans Day parade brings many people together, not just New Yorkers. I met people from as far away as California and the high school bands all the way from Illinois. As they marched up from 23rd street to 52nd street, many people gathered on the streets of New York to watch them pass by and say thanks for serving our country well.
I will continue to be a volunteer even after I leave Berkeley College, and I would love to leave a legacy behind. Anybody can help, and lend a helping hand, and if you love what you do then you would not think about getting paid for doing it. My resume is filling up with all kinds of volunteer work that I have been involved with through Berkeley cares.
Find something to do. As President John F. Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” It will be worth it.