The Value of Serving Others

Elysa - Countryside, Illinois
Entered on February 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that serving is one of the best ways to show love towards others. People will often try to express love through words, but often, actions will speak louder than words. Not only do the people being served benefit, but there is also satisfaction and joy for the ones doing the serving.

Every summer, I volunteer at a camp in Wisconsin doing various jobs such as serving tables, washing dishes, and even cleaning bathrooms. I work up there with several other high school girls, and I enjoy working together with them. It’s always fun to see the faces of the younger campers when they come into the mess hall. They get a kick out of being served by teenage girls. At other camps, they’d have to wait in a line and go get their food. Often times, the kids will get to know me after I’ve served their table, and some even look up to me throughout the weeks that they’re up there. I try to make them feel special, even if they’re many years younger than I am, by smiling and talking to them.

Over Spring Break, I will be going to Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, with a small group of about 8 people. Since we are going to be visiting an orphanage while we are there, I came up with the idea to get backpacks for the kids. There are about 70 kids in the orphanage and I wanted to try and encourage students in the Spanish program here at LT to donate a backpack for each of the orphans that we will be helping. Whether they use the backpacks to carry their school books in, or as a special place to keep some of their personal things, I am certain that they will be thrilled to receive them.

Not only will the orphans benefit, but so will the students who have generously and caringly donated the backpacks. I’ve traveled out of the country before, and I know that many people in other countries think lowly of Americans, especially American teenagers. They think that all Americans teenagers are selfish and that they’re punks. I thought, “What a great way to show the people and kids in Bolivia that not all American teenagers are like that. We can think about others, and help them, and show our love to them. What a perfect way to change their stereotypes about us by having 70 high school American students provide backpacks to give to the orphans in Bolivia.” I have several Spanish classes involved in this campaign, and I have been very pleased to see that many of the students have had the heart to get a backpack for a child in Bolivia.

Whether volunteering at camp, providing backpacks for orphans in Bolivia, or participating in another project, I believe that serving is one of the best ways to communicate our love to the people around us.