This I Believe

Kristen - Edina/, Minnesota
Entered on May 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

A Powerful Deed

I believe in the power of volunteering. I believe in helping out those in need because I’ll never know the next time I will be in need myself. Although I’ve been volunteering since I was a little girl, the complete understanding of this act of service came to me only a few years back.

It was the second week of seventh grade and one of my best friends named Christie Blackwood had just been diagnosed with cancer. At first I didn’t understand how cancer could reach such an amazing girl.

It was in this month of September almost 4 years ago when I realized something that will forever influence my life. I realized that my rage over tough times in life could actually be triggered into something positive. Instead of grieving, I could contribute to the funds that help Christie and the others affected by cancer. Christie was one of my best friends and my strong belief in helping her boomed my general belief in volunteering.

The daily pain and suffering she went through only inspired my friends and me to help those in need more. We spent time at Crisis Nursery, visited Christie and the other kids at Children’s Hospital and even had a haunted house near Halloween donating all the profit to the patients at Children’s. We also participated in our first annual Relay for Life fundraiser and raised over $1000 for the American Cancer Society.

The moment however that truly showed me the power of volunteering, was when I saw Christie for the last time. Her fiery spark of determination made it so that not volunteering wasn’t even an option. Christie’s contagious ray of hope caught me with just a look at her eyes. Because of her, I’ve realized why I volunteer to help out those who are dealing with tough times.

Although Christie passed away over two years ago, her spirit is still within me. My friends and I have continued our volunteering by fighting tirelessly against cancer and helping others in need. Lately we have been volunteering by baking goods in order to raise money for cancer. The $2,500 from these bake sales has provided cancer patients with better treatments and service.

As I think about all that has happened over the last 3 years, I wonder what my life would be like without volunteering. Volunteering has taught me how to grateful for my house, my food and my health. It has also taught me how to believe in myself and how I contribute to the world. Because of my journey with Christie and her spark of determination, I believe in volunteering.