Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and help those around you. My first experience of volunteering for a community service agency was when I was an ornery teenager entering high school. My father and I were asked to visit 2-3 families of our church each and every month. This “job” as I saw it, consisted of watching over these families and providing them with help as they required of it. This help could include anything from offering emotional support to performing manual labor. At the time, I didn’t enjoy taking the hours out of my day to do this; you may even say I dreaded it. As I continued to serve fellow church members in my community, I began to mature and in turn, I began to enjoy it more and more. I came to recognize the act of volunteering as a civic responsibility and, as a Christian, my duty to God. Through completing these responsibilities, I gain a sense of fulfillment and happiness in my life, knowing that I am helping to improve the life of another human being.
Another volunteer experience I had was at a Boy Scout camp last summer. This camp was just taking shape and was in desperate need of basic necessities. A group of us older scouts worked many hours over the course of a week to improve the grounds by transporting gravel from the river bed to the camp trails and pulling up foul-smelling lily pads out of the lake so that these parts of the camp could be used that year and many years to come. Because it rained for most of the week, we could have easily settled for less than our best effort. I however felt a sense of pride in the work I put forth and seeing the project through to the end. It felt good to watch younger scouts take advantage of what we made possible.
I am grateful I have the time and ability to contribute to my community. It truly makes me appreciate everything I have been given and it makes me more willing to give back to those who are less fortunate than I am. Volunteering provides me with a new perspective on my life, by seeing the trials and struggles of others that I am able to help them overcome through my service.
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