“Everyone can be great because anyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t even have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love…” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Over the past few years, “community service” and “volunteering” have become buzzwords around workplaces, churches, and schools. I truly believe that this is wonderful. However, this can become an issue because many efforts to serve, at least based on my own personal observations, seem relatively fruitless. It does not need to be, however. If we all learn how to serve in the “right” way (excuse the pretention), volunteering on a consistent basis can and will change the world.
As small and insignificant as it may sound, the first thing to address when serving is your attitude towards service. Find a way to convince yourself that you enjoy even the most mundane tasks as long as they are doing something important. Also, the most important aspect of serving in a beneficial way is to see the people that you are serving and serving with as people, deserving of just as much respect, dignity, and appreciation of you. As much as they are benefiting from your service, you are benefiting from the relationships with them.
Secondly, in order to change the world through volunteering, you need to find one, the right place, and two, the right job to volunteer.
To begin, finding the right place to volunteer can be difficult but also extremely rewarding. In order to change the world through volunteering, you need to volunteer at a place that is changing the world. This place could be a non-profit organization, a church or church program, or an event of some kind. When you find a place that is actively doing something that helps your passion, you should check and make sure that they are financially accountable and have volunteer programs that allow volunteers to make a tangible difference. A great place to start is Charity Navigator to see if the organization you are looking to volunteer is accountable. Even if they have not evaluated it, they show you how you can research and evaluate it yourself.
Once you have found the right place, go for it! Volunteering does change the world. One person, Katie Davis, a twenty-two year old from Tennessee, started Amazima Ministries and is now living in Uganda with fourteen adopted children and feeding hundreds of people a week. If one person can do that, think of what you and your friends can do.