“Service” is one of the most meaningful words to a volunteer. When I hear that word, I immediately think of the incredible experience I’ve had volunteering, especially for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Buddy Poppy Drive. This year I stood outside Walmart, greeting and encouraging customers to donate in support of our troops. This project hits close to home, as my Sergeant Major father is a Vietnam, Gulf War, War on Terror, and Army Reserves Veteran of 42 years. I love not only having the opportunity to fundraise to help soldiers I’ve never met, but I also have the chance to instantly connect with strangers and make them smile. I want to offer my service because I’m so inspired to give back to the men and women who so willingly sacrifice for my freedom.
The moment you dedicate your life to service is the moment you realize how much the world needs your kindness. I’ve always believed that with each special encounter during service projects, you share a part of your heart that can never be regained–that’s the beauty of volunteering. The idea of giving something away, such as your time, skills, or enthusiasm, is the selflessness that service is all about. But what inspires me the most about service is that while you’re giving to others, you’re actually gaining something back—it’s the gratitude from the people you’ve touched with your kindness.
That gratitude is so uplifting, delicate, honest, and pure. Once you’ve shared your heart through service, you feel the desire to share more, learn more, and do more. You become the best version of yourself when you take the time to experience life from the perspectives of the people you’re helping. By simply making the decision to offer your kindness to others through service, you are reaching people’s souls and reminding them that good really does exists.