To do something unconditionally takes a special kind of strength, because it involves being humble enough to not expect things in return, not even a thank you. It involves being kind enough to put others before yourself. It involves being part of something bigger than yourself and reject your own needs momentarily.
And to volunteer, it takes an unconditional love to do that.
Back when I was in high school, there wasn’t a single point in those 4 years that I was not volunteering. My church was a bit part of it, but being part of Interact and Rotary clubs through my high school at the time brought out the best of my serving ability.
I did a range of tasks – chair moving, stage production, car washes, auctions, mission trips, charity events, shoebox donations, community day, food drives, cleaning trash, gift-wrapping, soup kitchens – I can go on and on. Through each and every service event I attended, I learned that communities can do incredible things when working together.
Our soup kitchens fed dozens of people in poverty in the Pottstown area, our shoebox donations were sent to thousands of families across the country, our Mini-THON fundraiser raised $11,000+ to the Four Diamonds Fund for cancer research. This was being done by high schoolers to remind everyone.
At none of these events did I ask for anything back. All of it was unconditional, which taught me the worth in being kind because its like a cleanser for your conscience, since you begin to feel the memories of your deeds outweigh the memories of your challenges. That’s how it felt for me and it reminded me of why I continue persisting in life. I want to fight for other people who don’t have the same opportunities I grew up with so they can have them to.
And even beyond this there are so many things I haven’t even tried yet, like being a volunteer firefighter or anything emergency related for that matter. I have dreams for going on mission trips when I’m older, plans to be among rescue relief teams.
Opportunities can be found at any turn. Churches will almost always be holding volunteer events. Schools have endless spots open. Your town hall or borough hall could be in need of townspeople to help an event run. Online I’m sure dozens are listed for your area. Don’t hesitate.
There’s not much to lose when volunteering, but there’s so much to gain in growth and new memories, new experiences, new ways to make the world better, no matter how small.