A volunteering story by: Jessica smith

Amy, as well as her friends and fellow volunteers, spent a lot of time prior and during the event doing a lot of hard work. This task required her to be at the facility for many long hours, but being with friends made it fun. Amy specifically worked on packaging and bagging up different grocery items and food, into care packages. She worked with a team to gather fruits and vegetables for the families to make meals they originally wouldn’t have been able to, because of their financial state. After the bags of groceries were made, hundreds of people and families came and picked them up. Amy was one of the people that stood in the long line of volunteers helping pass the bags out. She interacted with so many different families throughout the day, and made a lot of new friendships in those quick instances. Amy found her role in helping these people and the Salvation Army out to make her feel so extremely happy and it was well worth it. She realized she actually made a difference because without her volunteering to help, it might not have gone as well. Amy said, “it didn’t even wind up feeling like I was doing volunteer ‘work’. It became so enjoyable and heartwarming I literally forgot I was there to do something for school.” She did a lot of hard work and preparation to give back to these families, but she explains the reward she gained from it made it not even seem like work at all.

The Inspiration

Amy is very involved in her local church and heard a lot about mission work and community service but never participated. She said, “I saw my sisters doing community service when I was younger for school, but I just never felt like i She found it interesting but was never truly inspired or moved to do it. The main reason she actually looked into it was to meet her schools requirement to do community service to graduate. She had fourth hours to complete, so she kind of looked at it like just trying to fulfill the requirement. Amy heard about Salvation Army through her schools long list of potential non-profit volunteer places. At first, she picked this organization out of the rest because it was closest to her, and her friends decided they wanted to do that one. Her volunteering wounded up meaning so much more to her than what she thought it would. Amy said a little girl, about four years old, came up to her and said, “you’re like an angel, because I was so hungry. Thank you!” And this statement alone caused Amy to realize this community service meant so much more than just meeting a school requirement. Amy said that after this little girl told her that, she wanted to cry and her heart felt warm. Her inspiration and motivation to volunteer changed in that instant. It caused her to continue to volunteer, and actually want to do it.

The Aha! moment…

This was a life changing experience for Amy to go through. She didn’t expect to feel as strongly as she did throughout it, but it definitely impacted her deeply. It effected her so much that it caused her to continue to give back, and share with others in hope that they can learn as much as she did. Amy is extremely well off, so it was a very humbling oppurtunity for her to take part in it. Amy said, “I feel my heart has changed in a great way. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the families I encountered while doing my community service.” A heartwarming experience like this is such an amazing thing to be able to go through. She learned that a simple phrase from a little, innocent girl can impact and change her life so much. The four year old she came in contact with will forever hold a special place in her heart. One of the most important things she learned was that volunteering makes her feel so great that she never wants to miss out on it again. She said a lot of times that she wishes she had done it so much sooner. Amy has changed in an amazing way because of the community service she participated in.

To summarize it in three words…

  • Unexpected, beautiful, inspirational

Why should you do this

“I definitely reccomend everyone who is even a tiny bit interested in volunteering to do it. I wish I had done it so much sooner because of how amazing it made me feel afterward. I told my family, friends, people at school even that they should really try it,” said Amy. The realization she had of how impactful community service has the potential to be caused her to want to share with others about her special experience. She was so touched that it caused her to spread the word and reccomend volunteering to many other people. Amy wants others to have a similar experience that she did because it was so unexpectedly beautiful.

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