Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Honor Rows Volunteer Began Journey at a Young Age

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Honor Rows Volunteer Began Journey at a Young Age

Article excerpt

Byline: Aaron Badida

When people volunteer, they can change lives - including their own. Each week in Reason, we will highlight a volunteer's story of giving back and how that selfless act was a true revelation. The volunteer project is a collaboration among the Times-Union, the University of North Florida, the United Way of Northeast Florida and HandsOn Jacksonville.

When most people think about wins and losses, they're thinking about what happened on the field or court.

But for Alison Farhat, a patient access rep for Baptist Health, a winning season is much more about filling a special section of seats at EverBank Field.

Farhat is a volunteer with Honor Rows, a program supported by a partnership between the Jaguars Foundation and the United Way of Northeast Florida.

Honor Rows provides tickets to Jacksonville Jaguars football games to socially and economically disadvantaged youths in the Northeast Florida community in recognition of good behavior and academic performance.

"Every year I volunteer with Honor Rows and I see how much excitement the kids have, it truly makes me happy to see that doing something so simple can have such a huge impact on others," Farhat said.

Volunteerism has been a consistent part of Farhat's life and she learned from an early age that helping others can be just as fun as it is impactful.

Her volunteer journey began at 4 years old, when Farhat and her brothers were part of a disaster simulation for a local health-care system. Farhat found out that volunteerism could make a difference and still be an enjoyable experience.

"My role involved playing with lots of makeup, and for a young child, that was definitely fun," said Farhat, who provided an opportunity for health care workers to practice critical first-response skills.

Since then, Farhat has remained committed to giving of her time. …

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