All my life I have had everything given to me. My family and parents have blessed me with clothes, food, shelter, and everything I could possibly ever need in life. Since everything in my life has been handed to me on a silver platter; I feel it necessary that I give back to the world that I given me so much. My task may seem daunting, because I have received so much; but by simply picking up a hammer and pounding a few nails into a wall I can slowly, but surly start to tip the scales away to me taking from the world to me giving back to the world. Therefore, I believe in community service. Community service is a simple, yet powerful act that affects the lives of people that have been forgotten or mistreated in our society. Ever since I was young teenager and started to think of more than just myself I have been volunteering and working to benefit my community. Through my local church I worked once a month with an organization called Reston Interfaith which provides low income housing for people. Once a month our task was to go out to the homes and repair them. For example, I have fixed stairs, painted rooms, put down wood floors, built decks, done landscaping, fixed pluming, and myriad of other repair man jobs. Now once a month for one day is not that much work, so for the past two summers I have gone to the Catholic Diocesan of Arlington Workcamp. The Workcamp is a week of 12 hour days of just volunteering and repairing homes in Orange County, Virginia. During this week long experience I sweated and I sometimes bleed for the people that I was volunteering for. The homeowners whose homes I repaired and rescued from collapse have touched my life in so many ways. The people of Orange County were so joyful and grateful for the little amount of material wealth that they had. I was shocked to see that one of the homeowners a Vietnam veteran could be so happy while living in a two bed room house that was literally falling apart and relying on a poorly maintained garden and single cow for most of his food. I found it hard to understand that someone who had almost nothing could have such a positive and optimistic outlook on life. Although I was sent down to Orange County to help and give back to the community; I have realized that the homeowners that I meet have given me more than I could ever given to them. I come from Fairfax, Virginia which is the second wealthiest county in the nation; so to see people who have so little, but are so grateful made me realize that life is not about receiving and making money. Life is about giving back and giving more than you receive. Therefore, I believe in community service.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.