I Believe in Helping Others through Service

Lara - Millstone Township, New Jersey
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Not only have I lost myself in the service of others, but it is in serving others that I have found myself.

I have always loved helping people since I was little and have always been compassionate and empathetic beyond my years. But helping people is such a vague phrase, and there are so many ways you can help people. One way I was able to effectively use my energy and desire to help people is through community service.

Service projects I have participated in, in the past were visiting nursing homes and pre-schools; throwing tea parties for senior citizens; throwing Halloween and Christmas parties for poor children; and spending time with homeless teens. I have traveled to Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to help in half way houses and tear down abandoned homes to build new ones. I have also donated blood and platelets to cancer patients and countless articles of clothing and food.

Some people may think that there is so much poverty in the world that they do not feel like they can make a difference. But this is untrue, every little bit of help makes a difference. Service is not just helping the poor or homeless, serving others can just be spending time with one person who is poor in love. You do not need to fill a whole food bank by yourself, you just need to spend some time with one elder in a nursing home to make a difference in their life and make them feel loved and wanted. As Mother Theresa once said, “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.”

However, you do not have to be Mother Theresa or go to a third world country to do service and feel like you are making a difference. You can simply donate your outgrown clothes, place a can of soup in a food basket, serve food at a soup kitchen or donate blood.

Service is not just a one way street. I believe that I get more out of helping people than they do. It is such a powerful and satisfying feeling when you know you have made a difference in someone else’s life. Giving and helping is such a selfless act that makes my time here on earth feel worthwhile. When I help those less fortunate than I am, it makes me realize how lucky and fortunate I am, which is why I am such an appreciative person today. I do not take anything for granted.

It is my many years of performing community service that has helped me decide that I want to be a Social Worker to help people for the rest of my life. It is the people who I have helped who helped me realize that this is what I am meant to do.