Keeping up with school work, jobs and marching band practice is not an easy task. But UNC students Austin Seamster and Adam Sheinhaus have found a way to do all that, and give back to their community.
Even more impressive, over the last four months alone, Austin and Adam led a group of their friends from the Marching Tar Heels in preparing almost 20 meals at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill.
Austin and Adam, both juniors, met their first year at UNC through the Marching Tar Heels. During their sophomore year, Adam and Austin began volunteering at the House once a week. The activities they do as volunteers vary from answering the phone, cleaning or just assisting visitors as needed.
At the beginning of their junior year, Austin and Adam had an idea. While they had been volunteering, they had seen numerous groups come in and cook meals for the families staying at the House. They decided to encourage other Marching Tar Heels members to volunteer, and started a weekly visit to the House with the entire leadership team to cook meals for the families.
Due to an outpouring of support from marching band students, the Marching Tar Heels volunteer base has grown significantly since then. Currently, about 70 marching band members have volunteered at the House. In addition, a group of 8-12 members cook dinner every week.
Adam said what he most enjoys about volunteering at the House is the satisfaction from seeing someone enjoy a meal you cooked. “Knowing you’re doing something bigger than you is really important,” he said.
Both Adam and Austin hope that Marching Tar Heels students volunteering at the House is something that will be carried on as a tradition, even long after they graduate.
Austin added, “We want to make this lasting. We want it to be something that, I don’t know … maybe we come back and our kids are going here and volunteering at the House.”