“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
- Mahatma Gandhi
One of the greatest joys in life is the opportunity to give back to those who need it, and deserve it. For my service project, I decided to help out with bringing and serving food for our veterans. Since I was a kid, I was always taught that the greatest thing you can do is to give back to those in need, especially during the holiday season. I made the decision to participate because I know how important and impactful giving back can be; not only for the veterans, but everyone involved. Each time I volunteer I find a new source of inspiration, which shows how powerful the experience can be. It’s an experience that not only leaves an impression on the people directly involved, but it also strengthens our communities as a whole.
I think what I get out of volunteering the most is the feeling that I am actually helping someone have a better holiday season. Something a lot of people take for granted. Small gestures such as bringing a side dish to a volunteer dinner makes all the difference in the world. Being able to give back and nothing happens, in some ways seems more gratifying. Although you don’t get the recognition some might want, the biggest reward is knowing you made a significant change in someone’s life. Giving back is something everyone should do. You meet new people from different walks of life, and make connections that really strengthen your bond with your community. I keep bringing up, “community” because I think that is often overlooked. Being able to do something for your community really helps everyone within it.
If you are fortunate enough, you should always do what you can for your community. It helps the city progress as a whole. But not only your city, volunteering helps you grow as a person. I remember building houses in Guatemala my freshman year of high school, and it is still has had a profound effect on my life to this day. Volunteering also gives you the chance to explore aspects of careers that you might have never known you liked. All of my experiences with volunteering have shown me that, one day, I would like to have my own charity. But it also changes your perspective of life. Rarely do you have an experience like this and come out the same. It shows you that in order for the human race to live in harmony, we must all help each other. I think if everyone took time out of their week to donate their time to volunteering, the world would honestly be a better place.
Just as importantly is the feeling of being needed or appreciated. As selfish as it might sound, it really does feel good to be appreciated for what you’ve done. When you volunteer your time, you realize just how much you your time was needed. It also makes you appreciate what you have in your own life. This is often something we forget to do. Naturally, as humans, we take things for granted. But when you volunteer, you realize just how lucky you are. It helps your self-confidence and increases your self-worth. My personal experiences with volunteering have always been positive ones. Volunteering is something I will always go out of my way to try to do. Because I know how important it is. Its making small, positive, differences like these that slowly change the world we live in. Showing that we can only grow as a whole. This world needs a little more kindness and compassion.
We need to show each other as citizens of a country, and as human beings, that we care about each other. Throughout my life, I have always been taught that the real definition of a man is someone who gives back to those in need. And to this day, I think that is still true. I’m very glad that I was given the chance to give back once again, and the experience itself was worth it all. Because volunteering your time for those in need is one of the greatest joys in the world. Volunteering gives students the ability to develop social, technical, and academic skills that most certainly cannot be learned in the classroom. I think that more colleges should give the opportunity for students to be a part of volunteer organizations like these.