Volunteering lets Hsu unplug and bond with others

yung tsung hsu sizedYung-Tsung Hsu just wants to see people smile — it is his job after all.

Most recently, Hsu, associate professor in the School of Dentistry, worked alongside other volunteers trying to open the six-acre Remy’s Dog Park in Red Mountain Park by the end of the year.

Hsu also volunteers for the Boy Scouts and Habitat for Humanity, the latter inspired by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

“I heard former President Carter volunteered to build houses, and I thought it would be cooler to build a house than to build a tooth,” Hsu said. “I started paying attention to volunteering opportunities, and I tried to find ones not related to dental work.”

Hsu is one of five UAB employees we’re spotlighting during National Volunteer Week to inspire, recognize and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to contribute in their communities. It’s needed now more than ever. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals barely one in four people did volunteer work in 2013, and rates were less than one in five among those ages 20-24.

Hsu said he enjoys the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, and it also gives him a way to unplug and bond with his son.

“Through volunteering I realize I can do a lot of things without a computer or cell phone,” Hsu said. “I also bring my son so he can stay away from Minecraft for a while.”

Find volunteer opportunities through Hands On Birmingham, which connects people with organized and meaningful opportunities to improve their community.

“I drove by the house I worked on after we completed the job, and I saw several people I didn’t know sitting on the patio enjoying the afternoon,” Hsu said. “I started imagining what it will be like when the dog park opens. Many families will be able to bring their dogs, walk the trails and enjoy the park. It makes me happy to know there will be more smiles this summer.”

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We want to inspire and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to use their time and talents to serve others and celebrate the service of those who do. Tell us your story.

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