Be a Help

Nick - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on March 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

The loud clanking of metal, the screech of tires, and the flash of cars can be found on a busy street. To get from one side of the street to the other, a person must jump into traffic and hope that drivers will stop and let him go. An elderly woman is timid when crossing this street. Several fellow pedestrians cross the street without taking notice of this struggling lady. One young man notices and decides to help the lady cross the street. Taking her by the arm, he stops the cars and walks her across the street. This kind act is a perfect example of helping another human being. I believe in helping others through generosity and volunteering.

Generosity is a fundamental quality in helping others. It’s giving up something of your own for the benefit of someone else. One such event that I experienced occurred when I was simply walking down a street in downtown San Luis Obispo, CA. As I walked I noticed a group of homeless people sitting on the side of the street holding a sign, “Any help is appreciated… God loves you.” As I read the sign I felt as though I could be of help to these people. I decided to give this group a $25 McDonalds’ gift card that I had received as a gift over the recent holiday. My hopes were that not only would it allow them to eat for the next few days, but it might also give them hope in the generosity of others. Volunteering derives directly from generosity.

When most people think of volunteering they tend to think of serving food to the homeless, helping out at a hospital, or cleaning up trash in parks. All of these volunteer efforts are needed in our community and help the ones in need greatly, but because of the economic situation our nation is in, there are many programs that need help many may not realize. One such program I have volunteered for was at a local elementary school in my home town. Due to the recent budget cuts the state of California is facing, many schools have had to cut their Physical Education programs. When I heard of this happening, I decided to volunteer at the local elementary school and teach Physical Education to Kindergarteners. I did this because I believe that a healthy lifestyle should be promoted at an early age, and by volunteering my time, I hoped to develop an understanding in these Kindergarteners about being active and having fun at the same time. Another way in which I have helped out in my community was by volunteering as a Youth Soccer Coach. Many Youth teams face problems in finding a coach because parents are often busy with work, so I decided to help the organization and coach the kids. By doing this I know it helped the parents and it also gave the children a coach to help motivate them and hopefully encourage them to continue with their passion in soccer.

There are many ways in which people can help others, a simple smile or even a friendly hello can make a huge difference for someone who is having a bad day. I believe that one person can have a huge impact on someone else’s life. We all have the power to help others; it’s just a matter of taking the first step toward wanting to make a difference. I will always try to make a difference because I strive to give more than I receive.