Compassion through charity

Katie - Goleta, California
Entered on February 10, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in compassion. I believe in helping those who are less fortunate than myself. I feel the best way to help others in need is through community service.

I have lived in San Marino, California my whole life. San Marino is a very wealthy city full of clubs and organizations that give back to the community. I was president of a service club called Amicians at my high school for two years. We raised money for school events by having car washes and bake sales. We also took occasional trips to convalescent homes to do crafts and sing with the elderly. Before I was president, I was Junior Representative. Some of my duties included organizing food drives for homeless shelters and jog-a-thons for several organizations. Even though Amicians took up a lot of my high school life, I was also committed to another volunteer organization.

When I was in seventh grade, I joined an organization called National Charity League (NCL). As a member, I volunteered for six years at several places. Two of the most memorable were Almansor and the Pasadena Senior Center. Almansor is a school for special-ed kids. When I used to volunteer there, it meant so much to know how happy the kids would be while playing with me. I believe that taking a couple hours out of my day to put a smile on a little kids face is worth every second.

While volunteering at the Pasadena Senior Center, I had the opportunity to talk with and even read to the elderly. The shortest visit to them a couple days a week, even if you just stop by to say hi brings tears to their eyes. When they see young volunteers like myself, it reminds them of being young and happy again. It makes my day to know that I made theirs. After six consecutive years of volunteering through NCL, I served over 630 hours at different philanthropies.

I believe in compassion. I believe in going out of my way to play with an autistic kid just to put a smile on his face. I believe in reading to an old man just to remind him of his childhood. Volunteering and giving back through community service is the most compassionate way to help those in need.