Volunteer for 25 days!
So I asked in my introduction to this challenge what you all thought I should do in multiples of 25, and most responses included volunteering! When I began writing this list, it was the first thing I wrote down. I wasn’t surprised that my followers and supporters had the same thinking in prioritizing service. This is something that I have had a passion for since I was a child have always been super active in. From days spent volunteering to give Christmas gifts to children in the foster system to a mission trip to serve the homeless in inner-city L.A., I have always had a passion for volunteering.
Going back to something I love
I grew up going to church every Sunday and nearly every Wednesday and this really got me involved in volunteer work. Outside of church, I was always involved in activities that were super involved in charitable causes. When I was a dancer, my studio began doing a benefit every other year to raise money for a variety of causes. When I was on cheer, we would do Santa’s Sleigh Ride at DIA every winter. When I was a part of FBLA, we raised money for March of Dimes at every event. When I was a part of DECA, a couple of friends and I created a blanket drive that donated blankets to Denver Rescue Mission. All in all, I was very active in volunteer work and I want to change that to the present tense of the statement.
Ms. Julie Miller
I mentioned that I was very involved in church growing up, and during that time, I had one of the most wise and inspiring youth ministers. The things she taught me about life in general still resonate with me today. But, since we are on the topic of volunteer work, I will just stick with some of the things she said to a group of us on a mission trip to Los Angles: “Don’t expect this to change their lives’, expect it to change your own.” I loved this because it is so true. You don’t volunteer for the gratitude of the people you serve, you volunteer for the pure goodness of doing so. Although you may be providing one meal for one person on one day of their life, you aren’t providing them with sustenance for their whole life. What you are doing, though, is participating in the community of people helping people. Your actions can truly inspire others to act and the whole of that can make a huge difference.
So during this mission trip–I was 14 at the time–I met a man named Jesus. He was at one of the churches my group had gone to in order to buy, cook, and serve a meal to people of the community. We were talking and my friends and I had told him the message our youth minister conveyed to us. His response was something that I couldn’t quite understand at the time because I thought he was telling me she was wrong. He had told us that we changed his life. He said it was so inspiring to him that a bunch of young people would care so much to provide a meal for his community–one in which jobs were scarce and each time he or one of his alley-mates would get a job they would come back with food for everyone. It wasn’t until later on that I had really understood that what Julie had said and what Jesus had said truly aligned with each other. Jesus didn’t leave that day with every situation figured out because of what we had done. He was inspired by the actions of a group of young people. That was the change in him.
Volunteering may be seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it has a greater effect! I can’t wait to get started!
Now, time to do some major planning!
Thanks for following along!
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P.S. This picture is of myself, a friend, a pastor, and three of the jornalero’s we served lunch to on our mission trip to L.A. in 2010.