This I Believe

Shannon - Webster, Massachusetts
Entered on October 21, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Taking the time to help others can be a short, simple reminder of letting them know that they are cared for. Volunteering is a rewarding experience that I believe everyone should be involved in some way. There are many people in the world that do not have the desires that one might consider to be basic needs of each and every human being. I consider a few of those basic needs as the need to be loved and to have a sense of belonging. While I am not asking anyone to change the world, volunteering one’s time and energy can make others who are less fortunate feel that they are loved and cared for.

I can distinctly remember the first time I volunteered at a local nursing home; I was in the sixth grade and came with some of my friends for community service. I was not quite looking forward to the experience because I did not expect to do anything fun or exciting; in reality, I was a bit nervous. I had not spent much time with elderly and did not know what to expect. My attitude changed after we were there for a couple of hours getting to know the people and playing some games with them; they smiled from ear to ear knowing that they could have someone to spend time with. I could tell that they enjoyed our presence as much as we enjoyed knowing that we made a difference in their lives if only for one day. Some of the people we encountered did not have many visitors and were glad to have someone there to talk to. As I left the nursing home, feeling proud of myself, I realized how much a simple gesture such as helping those less fortunate or just being there can make others feel good about themselves. Not only does volunteering benefit others, but the feeling that I had was priceless.

I learned how simple and rewarding volunteering can be from this experience. It made me more aware of all the blessings that I have and reminded me to not take those blessings for granted. This experience made me want to be more involved with my community and I am now more willing to volunteer for others. Volunteering is something I strongly believe in, and I feel everyone should be involved in some volunteer work if you have not done so already.