Community service: two words that describe something you’ve probably done before. Maybe your school requires service hours, or your parents want you to volunteer, when really you wanna stay home. We’ve all been there; community service can feel like a drag, but it’s important to remember why community service should be one of the many things keeping you busy.
Being able to make a difference in someone’s life is one of the reasons service is SO important. But, trust me, I know this sounds cliche and unrealistic; can you really make a difference in someone’s life? You’re not an adult yet. But you absolutely can. You never know how much good a small gesture can do. When I was younger, my family used to bring donations to a local food pantry. I never understood why I had to give up my Saturday to help out, until one day, a man came to the food pantry while we were dropping off donations. He was there to get food for his family because they couldn’t afford groceries. I realized that my work did matter even though it was small. There are so many people who could use your help and regardless of your abilities, you can change a person’s life.
Community service is also important because it can be extremely humbling and can put things into perspective. I know, it’s unfair when your friends see a PG-13 movie and your parents won’t let you, but meeting people who don’t know when their next meal is, makes you think twice about your problems and gives you a more realistic picture of the world. I’m not saying that your problems are insignificant, but once you’ve met people with life-changing issues, it can make you grateful for what you have, and gratitude is an incredible thing.
Community service can help you discover what you are passionate about. Most of you probably have been asked what you want to do when you grow up, and some of you might not know yet, which is TOTALLY normal! But finding new causes and ways to give back, can show you what makes you angry or excited, which can help you determine what future job you want. Sometimes finding what makes you angry is an easy way to find your passion and career.
Hopefully, you’re now convinced to start looking for community service opportunities, or, at least, you aren’t dreading fulfilling your school’s service requirements. The next step is finding out how to get involved. Girl Talk often has service events for all ages. Also, I use Pebble Tossers, a service website, to find organizations that accept middle school or high school aged volunteers. However you get involved, you’re doing great.
I hope you all are going to start getting involved, and I know you can do amazing things! Here’s an Eleanor Roosevelt quote that keeps me motivated to give back: “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.” You are all remarkable, and good luck with all future service endeavors!
Senior, The Galloway School - Atlanta, GA
Teen Advisory Board Member
Teen Advisory Board Member