All through my life I’ve been taught that giving matters more than receiving. Providing service for others is an important part of my life. When I do things for others I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’m proud of what I’ve done and it makes me feel good that I’ve helped someone else.
A person I associate service with is my Mom. Her example has taught me how to help others. She gives up her time to do things for me and my family every day. Whenever I see her she is always working hard, whether it’s cooking or cleaning.
Another person I’ve seen and learned to do service from is my Young Women’s leader (youth leader) Melanie Cameron. She is always thinking of others who are in need of help. One example of a service activity was when the Young Women made fleece blankets for the Syringa House (girls’ shelter) and cookies for the Ronald McDonald House. We got together on a Saturday morning to finish all of these things. For the quilts I cut and sewed most of the fleece squares together on my own time for a personal goal. I don’t think I ever realized how much time and effort little things like that take. At the Service Saturday other girls sewed, cut edges to make strips, and tied the strips together. My leader said when she delivered these blankets, the girls’ faces lit up and they were so happy to have something of their own. To hear such good things made me feel really good about myself because I was able to help other people who were in more need than I was. I didn’t think it was a big deal to sacrifice a little of my time for someone else, but it made a difference in another’s life.
Not all service has to be boring. You can always make them more fun and into a game or competition. Another activity I’ve been involved in was a service scavenger hunt. It’s where you have a list of things you can do for lots of people and you’re in a group. There’s only a certain amount of time to complete these tasks. You get a certain amount of points for each one, but you can only do each task once. The group with the most points wins. The fun thing about it is that when you ask people what you can do to help them, they get a surprised but happy look on their faces, especially to see young kids wanted to be helpful.
Usually around Christmas time we go to the Old Folks Home and sing to the elderly people. When I look around it doesn’t seem like any of them are even awake, but I know that listening to people sing to them is one of the highlights of their Christmas.
When I look back on the years past, I notice how many times I was able to help people. I’ve learned that when you do service for others, they somehow and somewhere will find a way to help you when you’re the one in need of it. It may not mean much to you to do a small thing for someone, but it’s a big thing to them and they will remember it years down the road.